Last year the EU’s energy industry invested a whopping €51 billion in wind power. This year the EU will spend even more on harnessing the power of winds.
In other words, wind power is definitely a growth industry in Europe.
In 2017 a total of more than €22 billion was spent on financing new assets while another €9 billion was spent on acquiring existing projects. A further €5 billion was invested in company acquisitions; €7.6 billion in capital markets; and €6.9 billion in refinancing transactions.
“Sector maturity and technology competitiveness have brought in more investors as equity partners in projects, in particular from the financial services industry,” WindEurope says. “These partnerships are key for power producers who need to recycle capital to finance new assets.”
Most of the investments were made in northern Europe where wind power has steadily been gaining round, aided in no small part by windswept shores ideally suited for harnessing wind power. Germany was the largest investor in wind energy last year with €6.7 billion spent on building new wind parks both onshore and offshore. Close behind came the United Kingdom with an investment of €5 billion.
“With €51.2 billion, wind energy accounted for half of all power sector investments in 2017,” said Pierre Tardieu, WindEurope’s Chief Policy Officer. “It’s delivering more capacity for less money. This is largely due to increased competition in auctions and technology advances that are driving cost reductions in the supply chain.”
Needless to say, with increased investments have come increased capacity. “Over the past year and up till the end of March 2018, more than 14 GW of capacity was awarded support, mostly concerning onshore wind projects,” a trade website explains. “This includes 5.3 GW in Germany, 4.1 GW in Spain, 3.2 GW in the UK, 1.4 GW in the Netherlands and 500 MW in France. Four countries, namely Germany, France, the Netherlands and Turkey, plan to auction more than 17 GW in total by the end of the decade. The majority is expected to be auctioned this year already.”
In addition, technological progresses in renewables are also making wind power ever more appealing for investors by enabling them to get even more power out of their buck. Literally.