The Joint Research Centre has produced the first edition of an annual report on the technology, market and economic aspects of wind energy in Europe and the world. With this report, the JRC becomes an important contributor to the knowledge base for the wind energy sector, providing up-to-date information on the technology and economics with a focus on the European Union.
Wind power is the renewable energy which has seen the widest and most successful deployment over the last two decades, from 3 GW to above 280 GW of global cumulative capacity expected at the end of 2012. In Europe, the 100-GW mark was surpassed in September 2012, and already in 2011 four countries (DK, PT, IE, ES) obtained more than 10 % of their electricity from wind.
Wind energy will provide at least 12 % of European electricity by 2020, which is a very significant contribution to the 20/20/20 goals of the European energy and climate policy.
This report is centred on the technology, market and economic aspects of wind energy in Europe and, because the wind sector is a global industry, some sections have a global scope. The report is based on the core JRC research work on wind technology, on its own databases on wind turbines and installations and on models; on work performed in support of the European Wind Industrial Initiative; on research by key actors from industry and academia; and on exchanges with the industry. The report was also reviewed by reputed experts in the European wind energy field.
The report investigates the technological situation: state-of-the-art of wind turbines and of their main components, research, innovations, current challenges and possible bottlenecks, and its possible future evolution. Further sections focus on the wind market status, both globally and in Europe, it make proposals on some deployment scenarios and provides analyses on industrial strategies as made public by manufacturers and developers. A further section analyses the economic aspects and implications: cost aspects focus on turbine costs, capital costs, the cost of operating the facility and the resulting cost of the energy produced. Finally, socio-economic aspects are considered upon including the amount of energy produced, the value of wind to the society and employment.