The European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) has published new figures showing that 36% of all new electricity generating capacity built in the EU in 2008 was wind energy, exceeding all other technologies including gas, coal and nuclear power, EWEA writes in a press release.
A total of 23,851 MW of new power capacity was constructed in the EU last year. Of this, 8,484 MW (36%) was wind power, 6,932 MW (29%) was gas, 4,200 MW (18%) was solar, 2,495 MW (10%) was oil, 762 (3%) MW was coal, 473 (2%) MW was hydro and 60 MW (0.3%) was nuclear power.
The EWEA writes: "For the first time, wind energy is the leading technology in Europe and the renewable share of new power installations was 57% in 2008. A total of 64,935 MW of installed wind energy capacity was operating in the EU by end of 2008, 15% higher than in 2007".
Christian Kjaer, EWEA chief executive, commented: "The figures show that wind energy is the undisputed number one choice in Europe's efforts to move towards clean, indigenous renewable power."
20 wind turbines were installed on average for every working day of 2008. In a normal year, the wind power capacity installed by the end of 2008 will produce 142 TWh of electricity, corresponding to 4.2% of electricity demand in the EU, and save 108 million tonnes of CO2 emissions annually, the equivalent of taking more than 50 million cars off the roads in Europe.
Wind energy in Denmark currently provides approx. 20 per cent of total electricity consumption.