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Previous year the Estonian wind energy production grew by nearly a half

EWPA's blog - etea February 12, 2013

The EU wind energy sector installed 11.6 gigawatts (GW) of capacity in 2012, bringing the total wind power capacity to 105.6 GW, according to the 2012 annual statistics launched by the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA). Last year in Estonia the record amount of wind turbines were installed with the total capacity of 86 megawatts (MW) that led to the overall capacity to 269 MW.

Last year, wind energy installations were led by Germany (2.4 GW, 21% of all new wind power capacity), the UK (1.9 GW, 16%), Italy (1.3 GW, 11%), Romania (0.9 GW, 8%) and Poland (0.9 GW, 8%). In terms of total installed capacity, Germany is also the leader with 31.3 GW (30%), followed by Spain (22.8 GW, 22%), the UK (8.4 GW, 8%), Italy (8.1 GW, 8%) and France (7.2 GW, 7%). If we look at new wind farms around the world then according to the Global Wind Energy Council market statistics China and US vie for market leader position at just over 13 GW of new capacity each.

According to the Estonian Wind Power Association (EWPA) the previous year growth took place mainly due to two new wind farms – Eesti Energia’s Narva wind farm with the capacity of 39 MW that is built on the ash fields in the East of Estonia and Eesti Energia and Nelja Energia’s joint project in Paldiski, which added 18 wind turbines with the total capacity of 45MW next to the current Pakri wind farm. Thanks to the additional capacity the year 2012 was also a good in production in Estonia – wind turbines produced 448 GWh of wind energy that is 83 GWh more than the year before.

Last year Estonian wind power plants received renewable energy subsidy for a total of 14.1 million euros, which is 22.5 % of the total paid out renewable energy subsidy (62.7 million euros). Wind energy subsidy corresponds approximately to 263 GWh of production and considering that wind turbines produced last year almost 450 GWh, it means that nearly half of production did not receive any support.

Despite the European Union’s efforts to make electricity production environmentally more friendly, the wind energy future does not look very bright if we consider political uncertainty that has swept across Europe since 2011, as well as Estonia’s plans to change renewable energy subsidies retroactively.

Additional facts about 2012:

• Renewable energy represented 69% of all new power capacity in 2012, while in a continuing trend fuel oil, coal and nuclear capacity saw negative growth due to decommissioning.

• Wind energy represented 26% of all new EU power capacity installed last year.

• In EU the investments into wind energy were between EUR 12.8 billion and EUR 17.2 billion. In Estonia the total investments into wind farms exceeded 122 million euros.

• The wind power capacity installed by the end of 2012 would, in a normal wind year, produce 230 TWh of electricity, enough to cover 7% of the EU’s electricity consumption.

• The spread of wind energy across Europe is shown by the fact that Denmark, Germany and Spain represented 33% of annual

• wind power installations in the EU in 2012, down from 85% in 2000.

 

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