GERMANY: Busy year expected to beat auction start
SPAIN: Faint hope for the mighty fallen
UK: Government turns its back on onshore
FRANCE: Offshore reined in before it takes off
ITALY: Repowering offers potential business
SWEDEN: Low electricity prices cause sluggish growth
POLAND: Record year but slowdown in sight
PORTUGAL: Strolling towards 2020 target
DENMARK: Offshore build to cut energy imports
TURKEY: Poised for steady expansion
NETHERLANDS: Pace of installations speeding up
ROMANIA: Additions stall as goals are met
IRELAND: Sluggish progress amid lack of direction
AUSTRIA: Lack of support stalls project development
BELGIUM: Courts and pending changes slow build
SE EUROPE & BALKANS: Greece provides best wind prospect
FINLAND & NORWAY: Nordic nations plan steady advance
RUSSIA & UKRAINE: Investors attracted by untapped potential
ESTONIA, LITHUANIA & LATVIA: Baltics look to cut Russian imports
Feelgood Factor: 3.5 (*)
Plus points: Positive market, still looking for growth
Minus points: Investment uncertainty over auction system
Germany could install up to 3.5GW of onshore wind in 2016, according to turbine-maker Enercon, although the net increase will probably be less as old and inefficient projects, by today's standards, are decommissioned.
In 2015, 3,420MW of onshore wind was installed, down on 2014's net figure of 4,836MW, but lifting the country's total onshore capacity to 41,664MW. The main growth area was offshore, where 2,362MW was added last year, taking the offshore total to 3,283MW.
The new pay-as-bid auctioning system for controlling renewables expansion and setting support rates starts in 2017. A transition arrangement allows onshore-wind projects permitted before the end of 2016 and installed by the end of 2018 to bypass the auction system.
Project developers will probably try to get as much capacity as possible permitted before the end of this year, which should be enough for at least 2GW to be installed in both 2017 and 2018. To this will be added the projects that win support in the auction rounds. Around 2.9GW will be up for grabs in the three auctions planned for 2017, and some of that could be built and online by the year end. Industry observers estimate about 3GW of onshore wind will be installed in both 2017 and 2018.
A formula for onshore wind expansion will dictate the amount to be auctioned in 2018 and thereafter. The target is for renewables to achieve a 45% share of electricity consumption by 2025, although some have argued that the cap will need to be raised to ensure Germany meets its climate commitments coming out of last December's UN COP21 climate summit in Paris.
Onshore wind accounted for 12% of gross electricity generation in Germany in 2015, and offshore wind for 1.3%. Renewables combined made up roughly 30%, ahead of lignite (24%), coal (18%), nuclear (14%) and gas (9%).
Offshore growth uncertain from 2018
The offshore growth rate will slow down this year with nearly 700MW expected to be commissioned at Gode Wind 1 (330MW), Gode Wind 2 (252MW) and Nordergrunde (111MW). Wikinger (350MW), Nordsee One (332MW), and possibly Merkur (396MW) and Veja Mate (400MW) could be completed in 2017.
Offshore growth in 2018 depends on further final investment decisions being taken. For example, EnBW expects to commit to the 497MW Hohe See project at the end of this year. Germany's offshore wind target has been set at 6.5GW by the end of 2020, although there is flexibility to allow up to a maximum of 7.7GW.
In the fragmented German onshore wind market, in which most projects are smaller than 30MW, turbine manufacturer Enercon was the biggest player in 2015, accounting for 1,380MW or a 37.3% share. Vestas was second with 788MW for a market share of 21.3%, followed by Senvion (18%), Nordex (11.8%) and GE (7.3%), according to DEWI Group data published in February.
Siemens accounted for all of 2015's new offshore capacity, but took only 1.7% of the onshore market, said DEWI. Thanks to the amount of offshore installed, Siemens supplied more than a quarter of all turbines installed in Germany last year (see chart, left).
In the longer term, the renewables expansion formula turns onshore wind into a "swing producer". Its progress will depend on expansion in other renewables sectors and whether overall German electricity consumption grows or shrinks.
Sluggish growth for solar PV and biomass allows more room for onshore wind energy. But the higher-than-average onshore wind installations in the last two, and possibly in the coming two years, could leave little space for further onshore wind growth over the period to 2025. Onshore wind could then fall to the minimum annual growth level, specified in the upcoming Renewable Energy Act 2016 as 2GW.
The act sets clear limits for offshore wind. Capacity is to be capped at 11GW in 2025 and 15GW in 2030, with growth controlled through the upcoming auctioning mechanism. Only around 800MW will be auctioned each year, starting in 2020. (SK)
Feelgood Factor: 2.5
Plus points: Anti-wind party lost recent general election
Minus points: Industry faces fifth year of no real growth
No new wind power is visible on Spain's mainland for 2016, according to national wind association AEE. Last year, it was the only western European wind market to have installed no commercial wind capacity at all. And the year before it installed just 30MW.
This is a far cry from 2007, when Spain was the world's biggest single wind market, with 3.7GW of new capacity supplied mainly by a burgeoning domestic industry, now export-oriented. Major developers such Iberdrola, Acciona, and EDP Renovaveis (EDPR), also focus abroad, mainly on the Americas.
The slowdown has been inexorable since the right-wing, anti-renewables Peoples' Party government clamped a moratorium on new projects in January 2012. Hopes for a revival rest largely on the attempts of pro-renewables parties' attempts to form a coalition government, following the hung parliament returned in elections at the end of 2015.
Initial hope for improvement faded quickly when the moratorium ended officially on 14 January, with a wind auction allocating 500MW of new wind capacity. AEE doubts the capacity will get built at all, as the main winner, the small Samper family business, which landed 402MW, accepted no subsidy at all.
The government claimed the auction proved wind can stand without subsidy. AEE insists it cannot and has called the government's bluff, demanding it now auctions the 5.9GW of new wind capacity targeted in the national energy plan 2015-2020. The government has not responded.
The only strong contender is the Canary Islands, a special case. The region allocated developing rights for projects totalling 422MW in December. The central government maintains a price support subsidy of EUR86/MWh for that quota, which is still only two thirds of diesel, the islands' main source of generation. (MM)
Feelgood Factor: 3
Plus points: Steady growth planned for offshore
Minus points: No future for onshore
The future for wind power in the UK energy market now lies strictly offshore. There is still around 2-3GW of onshore projects in the pipeline that are sufficiently advanced to go ahead, but the sector will grind to a halt in 2017-18 as the Conservative government's withdrawal of all financial support and tougher permitting procedures for projects in England kick in.
This will leave the UK's onshore fleet - which stood at 8,475MW at the end of last year - stuck at around 11GW. Offshore, where just over 5GW was operating at the end of 2015, there is more cause for optimism, with around 12GW of consented projects in the pipeline, including the Forewind consortium's 4.8GW of Dogger Bank developments.
Last year was a quiet one for the UK wind industry with 1,008MW of new capacity installed - roughly half that of the previous year - split 529MW onshore and 479MW offshore. Three North Sea offshore projects were completed: Vattenfall's 49.5MW Kentish Flats Extension using MHI-Vestas V112-3.3MW turbines; E.on's 219MW Humber Gateway with MHI-Vestas V112-3MW machines; and Dong's 210MW Westermost Rough, the first commercial project to use Siemens' 6MW turbine.
Wind provided 11% of the UK's electricity generation in 2015, up from 9.5% in 2014. Renewables in general accounted for 21%, just behind nuclear (21.1%) with gas (27%) and coal (24%) still providing the lion's share. However, the percentage of the UK's electricity generation provided by fossil fuels has fallen from 75% to 51% in the past five years.
Last November, the government announced plans to close all the country's coal-fired power stations by 2025, and restrict their use by 2023. While that certainly gave British delegates at the COP21 climate change talks in Paris something to crow about, it is less than clear how that capacity will be replaced, especially as support for solar PV has also been slashed alongside onshore wind.
The government's strategy is to fast-track shale-gas extraction as a "low-carbon" alternative to coal, with new nuclear coming online to provide carbon-free energy. Both propositions are fraught with complications. Aside from the fact that public opposition to fracking in the UK is even greater than to onshore wind, there is still no certainty over the extent of the country's shale gas reserves, let alone whether it will be economically viable to extract them.
The nuclear option has been thrown into doubt as developer EDF has delayed making its final investment decision on the Hinckley Point C nuclear power plant until later this year. The 3.2GW plant, with a construction cost set at £18 billion (EUR23 billion), is scheduled to start producing electricity in 2023, but cost and timetable overruns now seem inevitable.
The government's strategy is also raising doubts over whether the UK will meet its legally binding renewable energy and greenhouse-gas emission targets for 2020. At the moment it is just about on track to achieve 30% of electricity generation from renewables by the end of the decade, but it will be a close-run thing. (SC)
Feelgood Factor: 3
Plus points: Renewables to benefit from nuclear cut-back
Minus points: Red tape continues to hinder development
France added 1,073MW last year, all of it onshore, to break through the 10GW barrier with a cumulative capacity of 10,358MW. This confirmed the uptick in deployment seen in 2014 thanks to the simplification of the permitting system and reinstatement of the premium purchase price.
While the industry expects roughly the same amount to be installed in 2016, the growth rate is not high enough to allow France to meet its onshore target of 19GW by 2020. However, the government is proposing a new target of at least 21.8GW, and possibly as much as 27GW by 2023.
The passing of the energy transition law last year will help, mainly by bringing renewable energy to the fore as nuclear is cut back. The law also extended the trial of a single permit for wind-power projects across the country, and laid the way for the premium purchase price to be replaced with a market-based support mechanism in 2019.
But much remains to be done. Nearly 6GW of development is blocked because of constraints imposed by defence forces; the permitting system and appeals process remain unnecessarily complicated; and there are often long delays for grid connections. The industry also needs to work harder to improve local acceptability.
The news from the offshore sector is mixed. The three first-round projects awarded to a consortium led by EDF Energies Nouvelles are still in the permitting process, with a decision expected in April.
While the government recently issued a decree simplifying the appeals process, everyone expects the decisions will be challenged. Meanwhile, an Engie-led consortium is carrying out detailed studies at the Dieppe-Le Treport and Noirmoutier sites awarded in 2014.
On the industrial side, the first Haliade 6MW turbine should roll off the production line in St-Nazaire this spring. Alstom - now incorporated into GE - has also confirmed it will build two factories in Cherbourg producing Haliade blades and towers, while Adwen is moving ahead with a nacelle assembly plant and blade factory at Le Havre.
Ideol's Floatgen floating platform is slated for installation at the Le Croisic test site this summer, a year later than planned. Meanwhile, in August the government called for floating pilot projects of at least 15MW. A decision is expected in the summer.
However, the industry is very disappointed at the government's proposed targets for offshore wind, which foresee new committed projects totalling 500-3,000MW for fixed foundations, in addition to the 3GW already awarded, by 2023.
The plans for floating turbines are 100MW installed capacity plus 200-1,000MW of committed projects by the same date.
At the same time, the third tender for fixed offshore wind - originally promised last year - has been pushed back to autumn 2017 while the government identifies suitable development zones, carries out preliminary studies and reviews the tender process.
For the industry, both the volume and timetable are woefully inadequate if France is to meet its renewables targets and build a successful offshore industry. (JD)
Feelgood factor: 2.5
Plus points: Installation surge this year to capture FIT
Minus points: Prospect of end to subsidies
Italy this year should at worst roughly match the 295MW wind capacity addition seen in 2015, and might see up to 500-600MW commissioned, as the bulk of remaining projects assigned a feed-in-tariff (FIT) through the country's auction system advance to construction. One incentive for bringing projects online is that many face a reduction in the FIT if they are not completed this year.
Prospects for Italian wind energy beyond this year are very uncertain, however. As 2016 began, long-awaited measures laying down details for auctions through which a FIT was to be assigned to a further 800MW in onshore wind projects still had not become law. Government officials have indicated that these incentive tariffs will be the last for Italian wind projects.
Last year's installations brought Italy's cumulative capacity to 8,958MW, all of it onshore. The lion's share of new capacity in 2015 was in the southern Italian region of Basilicata, which has been playing catch up to other regions over the last few years.
Longer-term prospects for Italy's wind-energy sector largely hinge on repowering, as the best onshore sites have already been taken. But market players say specific legislation streamlining the approval process is needed for repowering to become a major new trend. (HO)
Feelgood Factor: 3.5
Plus points: High number of permitted projects
Minus points: Low electricity prices, lack of investment
Sweden could add a little over 400MW of new wind capacity in 2016, raising its national fleet to nearly 6.5GW, according to wind energy association Svensk Vindenergi. At the end of 2015, 424MW of onshore capacity was under construction.
The country added 601MW of new wind power in 2015, all of it onshore, for a total installed capacity of 6,025MW. No new offshore projects have been commissioned since 2013, and the offshore fleet has fallen from 211MW to 190MW through decommissioning.
Wind provided 10.5% of Sweden's electricity generation in 2015, with hydro (47%) and nuclear (34.3%) remaining the primary energy-generating sources.
There is plenty of potential for substantial growth in the coming years with another 6,643MW of onshore capacity and 2,282 offshore having been permitted. A further 15.5GW (12GW of which is onshore) is now going through the permitting procedure.
But growth will remain sluggish unless there are improvements in the joint Sweden/Norway green certificate support system. The current situation with very low prices for both electricity and green electricity certificates is devastating to the profitability of existing investments, and makes it difficult to procure new investments, Svensk Vindenergi said in February.
For the stalled offshore sector, the government requested the Swedish Energy Agency in December 2014 to propose a new, separate support scheme.
The June 2015 report advocated a tendering scheme with sliding premium/contract-for-difference support, similar to systems used in the Netherlands, the UK and Denmark, but differing in that the market rather than the government should select suitable sites for each tender.
The report highlighted the cost of offshore wind, however, observing that there remains huge potential for onshore wind in the country at half the cost of offshore development and requiring less than a fifth of the amount of support needed.
The agency was then charged with examining the benefits of offshore wind from an EU perspective, and its potential role in the Swedish energy system. The report is due in January 2017, before which any changes in the support for offshore wind are unlikely. (SK)
Feelgood Factor: 2.5
Plus points: Wind capacity topped 5GW mark
Minus points: New government no friend to wind
Growth of Poland's wind energy sector was already forecast to slow abruptly this year after a boom in 2015, when developers rushed to commission projects prior to the advent of an auction system for fixed-price tariffs.
But the victory of the right-wing Law and Justice party in last October's general election looks likely to turn that slowdown into a slump.
Draft legislation calling for a setback distance of ten times the turbine height (equivalent to 1.5-2 kilometres), together with taxes on turbines, a requirement for operating permits to be renewed every two years, and permission to be sought even for repairs and maintenance, is sending shockwaves through the country's wind industry.
Poland last year added a record 1,266MW of wind capacity to reach 5.1GW in total, all of it onshore. Future growth of the sector depends on the regular roll-out of new capacity through a new auction system, in which a fixed tariff - using the contract for difference mechanism - will be assigned for 15 years.
The auction system was expected to favour wind projects with the Polish Wind Energy Association predicting that the country's wind capacity could grow to 8-9GW by 2020. That now seems unlikely with the new government, still also determined to defend its coal industry, preferring biogas and geothermal to wind. (HO)
Feelgood Factor: 3.5
Austerity and near-saturation wind penetration in Portugal continue to keep growth at a crawl of just over 100MW annually to 2020.
In 2015, 165MW of new wind capacity was installed, slightly below the 184MW and 196MW figures for 2014 and 2013 respectively.
Still, with the cumulative total now at 5GW, the pace is enough to meet Portugal's National Renewable Energy Action Plan wind target of 5.3GW by 2020.
On the power market, wind was the country's second biggest technology in 2015 supplying 22.5% of consumption, behind only coal's 27.1%.
Combined, renewables took top place, supplying 48.2% of the mix against 47.3% from fossil fuels, with a further 4.5% supplied from imports. (MM)
Feelgood Factor: 3.5
Plus points: Already high installed capacity, offshore activity
Minus points: Reducing onshore interest
Danish wind capacity is likely to grow by a net 160MW (gross 225MW per year) onshore in each of 2016 and 2017, to reach a total of 5.4GW at the end of 2017, according to Danish transmission system operator Energinet.dk.
However, it is possible that the 28MW Nissum Bredning Vindmollelaug offshore test project, comprising Siemens 7MW turbines on suction bucket jacket foundations, will be commissioned in 2017.
Denmark added a net 167MW in 2015, all of it onshore, raising its wind-energy fleet to beyond 5GW. Wind's share in Danish electricity generation reached around 49.5% in 2015, up from 41% in 2014. Coal accounted for about 34% and gas about 7% of gross generation in 2014 (latest data available). The rest is from by biomass and other sources. Denmark is a net importer of electricity.
The Danish national target set in 2012, when installed wind capacity stood at just over 4GW, is for an additional 1.9GW (onshore and offshore) by the end of 2021. For 2020, the aim is to have wind energy account for 50% of Danish electricity consumption by 2020, compared with 42% in 2015. The 2015 share would have been higher were it not for outages due to cable faults at the 400MW Anholt and 200MW Horns Rev 2 offshore projects for one and two months respectively.
Offshore boost by 2020
Among the new developments, the 400MW Horns Rev 3 offshore project to be built by Vattenfall will be completed by 1 January 2020, with feed-in from the first batch of turbines due from January 2017, according to the ministry of climate, energy and building. The 350MW coastal wind farms and 50MW offshore test schemes are to be connected by the end of 2020.
Another major offshore development is the 590-610MW Kriegers Flak project. Final and binding offers to build it are due in November with commissioning scheduled for 2021. At the same time old capacity is being closed, including Dong Energy's 4.95MW Vindeby project installed in 1991. (SK)
Feelgood Factor: 4
Plus points: Positive support, growth expected
Minus points: Reduced targets
Turkey is expected to post another year of solid growth in 2016 after adding nearly 1GW in capacity in 2015, and an average of 650MW in the previous three years, as old projects from a 2011 licensing round advance.
Yet a goal of 20GW of wind capacity by 2023, laid down in Turkey's national renewable energy action plan, is looking increasingly unrealistic. This would require adding nearly 2GW capacity each year until then, a level well above what Turkey is currently seen capable of delivering.
The government seemingly acknowledged this when it presented a target of 16GW of installed wind capacity by 2030 as part of its submission to the COP21 UN climate change talks last year.
Turkey's wind capacity, all of it onshore and expected to remain so for the foreseeable future, rose 931MW in 2015 to 4,694MW, according to figures from Windpower Intelligence. Data from the national wind energy association showed another 1,869MW under construction, although observers say some of these are actually at the ready-to-build stage.
This year, market participants are focusing on grid capacity auctions for up to 3GW of wind power after developers submitted more than 42GW in projects by an initial April 2015 deadline. Projects meeting basic requirements will be allowed to bid in the auctions, with capacity likely to be divided up between provinces, not all of which have strong wind resources.
Auctions for this 3GW in capacity were expected to be held by the second quarter of 2016, but Christian Johannes, general manager of Turkey-based wind consultancy Re-consult, notes that by end February energy market regulator EMRA had yet to sift through about a third of applications.
EMRA has also indicated that preliminary applications for a new 2GW licensing round are due at the beginning of October, although there has also been a lack of news on this front. (HO)
Feelgood Factor: 4.5
Plus points: Imminent approval of high renewables target
Minus points: Uncertainty of offshore timetable
Wind-power development shifted up a gear in 2015, with 626MW of new capacity installed, including Eneco's 129MW Luchterduinen offshore project, to bring total installed capacity to 3,431MW.
That was well above 2014's 141MW of additions, and the pace of growth looks set to be maintained, at least for the next two years.
The first turbines of the 600MW Gemini offshore project and the 144MW Westermeerwind nearshore development are now delivering power to the grid, though the 3MW MHI-Vestas-equipped Gemini is not expected to be fully commissioned until next year.
There is some uncertainty, though, over the timetabling for a further 3.5GW of offshore capacity, divided into five blocks of 700MW, and being offered for competitive tender over the next five years.
The first of these blocks, Borssele I and II, was expected to be auctioned in March, but now faces delays after the Dutch parliament rejected proposals for the offshore grid from transmission system operator Tennet. (SC)
Feelgood Factor: 2
After adding only 22MW of new capacity in 2015, Romania's once booming wind sector is expected to see another slow year.
But there is around 150MW of projects under construction and close to being commissioned, which will take the country's total capacity from 2,976MW to over the 3GW mark.
The Romanian wind energy association expects only one new 15MW wind farm to be built and commissioned this year.
The country's increasingly shaky market backdrop has penalised wind development, but the government is unlikely to take significant action to support the sector after data from statistics agency Eurostat showed that Romania met its 2020 renewable target in 2014. (HO)
Feelgood Factor: 3
Plus points: Healthy pipeline
Minus points: Lack of investment in grid
Wind power growth remains sluggish and the future direction of Ireland's energy policy is unclear following a general election in late February that failed to provide a conclusive result.
Total installed wind power capacity stood at 2,461MW at the end of 2015, with 214MW added during the year, less than in 2014 (235MW) and 2013 (319MW). All but 25MW of Irish wind capacity is onshore.
The main obstacle to further growth is a shortage of investment in the grid and associated infrastructure. Ireland's wind resources are strongest in the west, where the population density is low and the grid at its weakest.
Ireland is heavily dependent on importing electricity from the UK, but acutely aware of its need to secure its own supplies. This could boost wind-power growth in the near future. The pipeline looks reasonably healthy, with 657MW in planned projects having proceeded sufficiently far for turbine purchase orders to be placed.
The biggest of these is Tradewind Energy's 120MW Athea wind farm in Limerick, which is expected to be commissioned later this year. (SC)
Feelgood Factor: 3
Wind prospects in Austria look increasingly uncertain over the coming years, mainly due to problems with support funding. The installation trend is downwards, with 316MW added in 2015, compared with 405MW in 2014.
Only 242MW is expected to be built this year. Cumulative capacity at the end of 2015 stood at 2,411MW.
At the end of the year, around 150MW of planned and permitted wind projects had been granted support, which is paid for 13 years by state-owned OeMAG.
But the foreseen annual amount of support set out in the Eco-Electricity Act has already been allocated as far ahead as 2019, said Austrian electricity association, Osterreich's Energie. And there is a logjam of 500MW of projects awaiting decisions in the support allocation process, it added.
Electricity generation in Austria is dominated by run-of-river and pumped-storage hydro power with a share of roughly 69%, while conventional fossil-fuel generation accounts for around 18%.
Wind, photovoltaic, geothermal and biomass energies, which share renewables support, together account for around 13% Wind alone produced 9% of electricity generation in 2015, according to Osterreich's Energie.
In 2015, Lower Austria was again the main focus of wind developments, accounting for 288MW of new capacity and likely to see another 222MW go in the ground in 2016, according to Austrian wind energy association IG Windkraft. (SK)
Feelgood Factor: 4
Belgium added 270MW in 2015, all of it onshore to bring total installed capacity to 2,229MW, of which 706MW is offshore. Onshore growth will probably fall to around 170MW this year, and no turbines will be installed at sea.
Most of the new capacity was in Flanders, though deployment is now expected to fall in the face of continued uncertainty regarding planned changes to the permitting system and the support mechanism.
While Wallonia saw an uptick in new build, it remains slow going with over 500MW blocked in the courts. Concerns include proposed changes to the spatial planning laws, and lack of clarity regarding noise legislation.
However, the region's new energy policy targets more than 100MW of wind to be installed annually until 2020.
Offshore, work should start in April on the 165MW Nobelwind facility, comprising 50 Vestas V112-3.3MW turbines, and owned by Parkwind, Sumitomo and Meewind. Five more offshore projects totalling 1,380MW are slated to come online by 2021.
The most advanced are Rentel (294MW), under the Otary partnership, and Norther (350MW), which is owned by Elicio and Eneco. Both aim to reach financial close this year. (JD)
South-eastern European countries are generally set to post modest growth this year, although the outlook varies widely by country. The nations highlighted this year have a combined cumulative capacity of around 3.6GW, but only 216MW was installed last year.
GREECE - Feelgood Factor: 3
Greece could see 210MW of new wind capacity installed this year, estimates the Hellenic Wind Energy Association, tipping it to be the region's top performer.
Last year, Greece's wind capacity rose 148MW to 2,128MW. Construction of new Greek wind farms may be postponed, however, as investors wait for clarification on some aspects of a new support mechanism.
Serbia saw its first wind farm, at 9.9MW, come online in 2015 and a 6.6MW project should be commissioned this year. In early 2016, investors were generally optimistic that decrees involving PPAs and the FIT would be published shortly, paving the way for bigger projects to be built. Serbia has set a 500MW capacity cap on projects for which incentives will be assigned.
In Croatia, commissioning of the 34MW Rudine wind farm was completed early this year after the 42MW Ogorje project came online last year. Short-term growth prospects are limited.
Prospects in Bulgaria and Hungary remain bleak, with neither adding new wind capacity in 2015 and no serious development efforts underway. Macedonia will also not add to its 37MW capacity this year, but has a few projects that could come online in the next few years. (HO)
Energy generation in these two countries is dominated by single non-fossil-fuel sources - hydro in Norway and nuclear in Finland - making it more difficult for wind to gain market share.
Green certificate boost in Norway
Feelgood Factor: 4.5
Wind has historically been regarded by Norwegian energy developers as a less profitable investment than the dominant hydro power. Wind projects mainly depend on public funding.
Installed capacity at the end of 2015 stood at 819MW, according to Windpower Intelligence, with nothing new added during the year. Wind accounted for just over 1% of Norway's electricity production that year.
Buoyed by its renewable energy directive, and the introduction of a common green-certificate market with Sweden in 2012, Norway is looking to reach installed capacity of up to 3.5GW by 2020. The green certificate scheme is attracting investors. Statkraft, TronderEnergi and Nordic Wind Power are investing €1.1 billion to build six onshore wind farms with a combined capacity of around 1GW in 2016-2020. (GO)
Finland to reach target early
Feelgood Factor: 4
Finland has set a 2020 wind-power capacity target of 2.5GW, which it expects to reach in 2019. Development this year is forecast to be in line with 2015, which saw 240MW added, taking the total to 867MW.
The outlook is positive, despite uncertainty over the future format of the feed-in-tariff (FIT) system. Suomen Hyotyuuli is building Finland's first commercial offshore project, 40MW in the Gulf of Bothnia.
Wind's share of total electricity consumption, rose from 1.3% in 2014 to 2.8% in 2015. (GO)
The potential for wind power in Russia and Ukraine remains untapped, but there is growing interest in the sector from investors.
Several of Russia's largest power companies have announced their intention to start producing wind-turbine components, although the Russian Association of Wind Power has not disclosed their identities.
Total installed wind-power capacity in Russia is still negligible, around 15MW, but state plans call for this to reach 3.6GW in 2024.
Signs that Russia is beginning to take wind power seriously comes from energy company Fortum, which has started building a 35MW wind farm in the Ulkyanovsk region, to be commissioned in 2017.
Wind plays a larger, if still minor, role in Ukraine. According the Ukrainian Wind Energy Association (UWEA), a total of 1.13TWh of electricity was produced by Ukranian wind power plants in 2015 – excluding Crimea – accounting for approximately 0.73% of the total annual electricity generation of Ukraine last year. Last year only 16.6MW of new capacity was commissioned, compared to 126MW in 2014.
Total installations are estimated at 426.2MW, excluding Crimea — 514MW including Crimea. The market's leading players are energy company DTEK and Wind Parks of Ukraine, both of which are planning new wind power projects. (EG)
Securing their own supplies and reducing their dependency on importing energy from Russia is the main thrust of current energy policy in the Baltics. Offshore wind may play a part in this, although the price of oil will have to rise a lot before investors commit.
Estonia - Feelgood Factor: 4
Estonia's capacity remained at 303MW, all of it onshore. Developers are starting to look at large-scale offshore projects, even if no significant investments are envisaged before 2020.
Nelja Energia is planning a 700-1,100MW offshore project in shallow water near the island of Hiiumaa, while Neugrund OU has proposed a 190MW project off Estonia's west coast.
Lithuania - Feelgood Factor: 4
The investment environment for wind power in Lithuania remains uncertain, largely due to the current availability of cheap imported electricity from Russia and a glut of fossil fuel-based generation capacity.
Still, 145MW of new onshore capacity was installed in 2015, taking the country's total to 424MW. The 60MW Silute wind farm, developed by 4Energia with GE 2.5MW turbines, is under construction and due online this year.
Offshore development is still at a very early stage. A 400-800MW project, largely owned by Nelja Energia, has been through the environmental impact assessment stage, but there is no sign when construction might start.
No new capacity was installed in 2015 as Latvia continues to lag behind its Baltic neighbours in drafting legislation to promote wind power. The government claims it cannot justify state support for wind while its economy is slumping and demand for energy is falling.
Witts & Kogel Advisory has delayed its 500MW Baltic Wind offshore project, planned to have turbines in eight separate locations within a 70-kilometre radius of the Latvian port of Liepaja. It has now slated 2021 for its completion date, which still looks very optimistic.
Onshore, Estonia-based Nelja Energia plans to begin construction of a 50MW project at Dundaga in 2017. (GO)
Writte by: Sara Knight (Germany, Austria, Denmark, Sweden), Shaun Campbell (UK, Ireland, Netherlands), Jan Dodd (France, Belgium), Eugene Gerden (Russia), Heather O’Brian (Poland, Italy, Turkey, Greece, Balkans, Romania), Gerard O’Dwyer (Norway, Baltics), Michael McGovern (Spain, Portugal)
* Feelgood Factor rating: Based on political support, investor confidence, structural preparedness and projects in the pipeline. Created by Windpower Monthly, Windpower Intelligence and in association with Dentons global law firm