European wind power capacity grew to a total 129 GW in 2014, according to report recently released by the EU Joint Research Centre (JRC).
Wind energy provided 8% of European electricity needs last year, equivalent to the annual consumption of Belgium, the Netherlands, Greece and Ireland. The report also foretells an optimistic growth into the future, with utility-scale wind expected to supply 12 per cent of Europe’s total electricity share by 2020, an important contribution to the EU’s 2020 goal to reach a 20% share of energy from renewable sources, a 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions below 1990 levels and a 20 % improvement in energy efficiency. This ‘impressive growth’ of Europe’s wind power industry takes the global cumulative installed capacity to 370 GW, up from just 3 GW over the past 20 years. [emp]