New capacity installed in Europe over the next 10 years will total 161GW, of which 39GW will be offshore, according to consultants at Make.
By 2026, China will be the only region with a higher installed capacity than Europe, according to the consultant’s Europe Wind Power Outlook 2017.
Europe’s cumulative capacity will be boosted by increased installations across the continent, but the largest advances will be in Germany, the UK and France.
In Germany, developers’ rush to beat the phase-out of feed-in tariffs (FiTs) toward the end of 2018, will create a surge in installations, Make concluded.
The country’s auction system – which has been criticised for favouring smaller, less dependable developers – being fine-tuned to enhance clarity over project timelines and completion rates, will also boost growth.
Make also pointed to three zero-subsidy bids – a world-first – in Germany’s first competitive auction as an indication of the extreme cost reduction the industry contends it can achieve.
Similarly, a subsidy phase-out in the UK – the grace period under the closed Renewable Obligation Certificate (ROC) scheme lasting until January 2019 – was motivating developers to connect onshore wind farms, Make stated.
Onshore projects on remote Scottish islands participating in the UK’s third contracts for difference (CfD) auction, and "industry pressures and public openness" potentially leading to the reintroduction of ‘conventional’ onshore wind within the fourth CfD tender, were also positive signs.
But offshore remains the main growth driver in the UK, Make stated, its strength demonstrated in the record low bids delivered in the second CfD.
The sector is set to experience a 40% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over the next ten years, Make concluded.
While the last FiT projects come online in France, new onshore wind farms will have a "double route" to market, Make stated.
This is because projects of up-to six turbines will have open access, while those with seven or more will need to compete in tenders, the consultants explained.
Meanwhile, after years of false starts, France’s offshore wind market is set for launch, Make added. The consultants claim the sector is ready to deliver 4GW between 2017 and 2026.
Regulatory hurdles and low power demand challenge the eastern and southern European markets, but the long-term prospects are positive, Make stated.
Meanwhile, offshore wind will strengthen its position as a growth driver in mature northern European markets, while making inroads into new countries supported by steep cost reduction, with 39GW commissioned across the region in the next 10 years.