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Wind power development in Europe

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2 Author(s)
Hatziargyriou, N. ; Dept. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., Nat. Tech. Univ. of Athens, Greece ; Zervos, A.

More than 70% of the total worldwide electricity-generating wind turbines (17500 MW total) has been installed in Europe. Of these, 3500 MW were installed in 2000 alone, continuing an impressive pace of development over the last several years. At the same time, the European wind manufacturing industry is booming with two-thirds of the world market share. These developments are attributed to the effective support of the European Union and of the national European states, following their commitment to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Wind power is now seen as a clean, cost-effective alternative to other forms of conventional electricity production with clear benefits to the environment and to the economy, as a whole. In this review paper the current state and prospects of wind power in Europe are described, with special emphasis on the three countries leading wind power development in Europe, i.e., Germany, Denmark, and Spain. The investment models applied in Europe play a decisive role in this development. Their differences and effects are shown and the role of renewables in reducing CO2 (the primary GHG) emissions is highlighted. Finally, current trends and prospects of the European Wind Turbine technology are discussed

Published in:

Proceedings of the IEEE  (Volume:89 ,  Issue: 12 )