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Investments in European wind power hit $29.4 billion last year

EUR

Last year saw 27.5 billion euros ($29.4 billion) invested to finance the development of wind energy in Europe, a 5 percent increase compared to 2015, according to new figures from industry body WindEurope.

In total, 12.5 gigawatts (GW) of capacity was added across the European Union (EU) – 3 percent less than installations in 2015 – with Germany installing 44 percent of the total.

Europe’s total wind capacity is now 153.7 GW, WindEurope said, and wind power generated nearly 300,000 GW hours in 2016, covering 10.4 percent of the EU’s electricity demand.

“Wind energy is now a mainstream and essential part of Europe’s electricity supply,” Giles Dickson, CEO of WindEurope, said in a news release.

“It is also a mature and significant industry in its own right, now providing 330,000 jobs and billions of euros of European exports,” he added.

Challenges remained, however.

“With all the talk about the transition to low-carbon, things should be looking good long-term for the wind industry in Europe,” Dickson commented.

“But they’re not. Government policy on energy across Europe is less clear and ambitious than it was a few years ago. Only 7 out of 28 EU Member States have targets and policies in place for renewables beyond 2020.”

Credit: CNBC

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