Some 15.7 gigawatts (GW) of new wind energy capacity were added in the European Union in 2017, according to offshore and onshore wind statistics.
Breaking down the annual figures from trade body WindEurope, onshore capacity increased by 12.5 GW and offshore grew by 3.1 GW, while new wind farm installations were 20 percent higher than in 2016.
In terms of new investments in future wind farms, projects totalling 11.5 GW reached final investment decision. The value of these investments was 22.3 billion euros ($27.53 billion), 19 percent down on 2016.
This, WindEurope said, was because cost reductions in the wind industry’s supply chain and increased competition in auctions had given investors “more capacity for less cash.”
WindEurope CEO Giles Dickson described 2017 as being a strong year for wind energy and said that wind had accounted for 12 percent of Europe’s electricity.
“It’s further evidence that wind is mainstream and delivers bang for your buck,” he said. “It’s cheap, increasingly stable, and industrial consumers are now turning to it as an energy source of choice.”