- Publication date
- 1 January 2015
- Joint Research Centre
This is the third edition of the Joint Research Centre (JRC) annual report on the technology, market and economic aspects of wind energy in Europe and beyond. Although this report is Europe-centric, the wind sector is a global industry, therefore some of its sections have a global scope. A special section in this year's report shows the regulatory framework in the EU Member States, in particular regarding support schemes, but also focusing on grid issues and potential barriers.
During 2014 the wind energy sector saw a new record in actual installations in a context of healthy manufacturer balance sheets and downward trend in prices. The global market reached 52.8 GW of installed capacity in 2014 of which 2.7 GW offshore, whereas in Europe 11.8 GW were commissioned. Global cumulative installed capacity reached 370 GW at the end of 2014 and in Europe 130 GW. The installed capacity at the end of 2014 in the EU will produce 265 TWh of electricity in an average year.
From a technology point of view, in 2014 larger turbines were sold and in particular those with larger rotors relative to their electricity generators, designed for sites with lower wind resources.
At the same time, both turbine and project prices dropped. Energy costs (levelised cost of energy, LCoE) for offshore projects with final investment decision in 2016/7 are estimated between EUR 90 and 150 per MWh, with main influences being water depth and whether offshore substation and connection to the onshore grid costs are included or not. For onshore wind, recent research suggests European LCoE in 2012 between EUR 45 (Denmark) and EUR 97 (Germany, low wind area) per MWh, with a clear trend towards lower prices. Recent turbine prices are estimated to vary from EUR 770 to 880 per kW.