The European Green Deal requires an acceleration of the rate of expansion of onshore and offshore wind. A 25-fold increase in offshore wind capacity and an even bigger increase in GW in onshore wind capacity. Member States have now agreed to ratchet up the EU 2030 greenhouse gas emission target from 40% to at least 55% to deliver the Green Deal. This will trigger an upward revision of the EU’s 2030 renewable energy target from 32% today to 38%-40% according to the European Commission’s Impact Assessment.
This means the EU wind energy capacity would need to be 433-452 GW by 2030 (361-374 GW onshore and 73-79 GW offshore) for 38% and 40% targets respectively. This is almost a threefold increase on the 179 GW installed today. And 90 GW more than what EU-27 pledged in their 2030 National Energy & Climate Plans.
The EU built 10.5 GW of new wind energy capacity in 2020 and is expected to install 15 GW per year in the period 2021-2025. The EU needs to build 18 GW per year over 2021-30 to deliver the existing 2030 EU renewable energy target and 27 GW per year to deliver the higher target foreseen by a 55% greenhouse gas emission reduction by 2030.
The benefits of an accelerated buildout will be significant. The EU wind energy sector supports 300,000 jobs, generates €37bn to EU GDP and €5bn in local taxes pa. It operates 248 factories across the EU. Each new wind turbine installed in Europe contributes €10m of economic activity. Onshore and offshore wind are the most cost-competitive sources of new power generation in most of Europe.
But current policies will not deliver these numbers – neither on volumes, nor on economic benefits. Higher targets are necessary but not sufficient. Europe needs stronger delivery, monitoring, and enforcement measures to ensure 2030 is a steppingstone towards a climate neutral energy system.
This paper sets out WindEurope’s priorities for the EU’s ‘Fit for 55’ legislative package. It is an updated version of our position paper from March, following the publication of the package on 14 July.