INFORSE Proposal Wind Power for Western Europe,
Gunnar Boye Olesen, International Network for Sustainable Energy - Europe
This report gives an overview of how it is possible
to realise the Western European part of the global target of 10% windpower
in the world's electricity production by the year 2020. This target is
taken up by INFORSE, as well as by Greenpeace International, European
Wind Energy Association, Forum for Energy and Development of Denmark,
To be operational, the global target must be divided
into regional and national targets. The regional target for Western Europe
is set to 220,000 MW of windpower, producing some 600 TWh/year, equal
to 25% of the regions electricity demand in 1995. A proposal of how this
could be divided into national targets for 2020 and 2010 is made in this
report. In this proposal, 1/3 of the capacity is assumed to be off-shore
in 2020, and the rest is distributed among the EU-countries + Norway.
An economic evaluation shows that compared with
large, efficient, combined-cycle gas turbines, the development of 220,000
MW of wind power has a positive net present value, i.e. it is cost-effective,
even without environmental costs. The calculation shows a positive value
of $EUR 89 billion, equal to $EUR 400 per kW of the 220,000 MW,
to be installed until 2020. The calculation is quite sensitive to the
gas price development, which is taken from the IEA 1998-forecast. The
economic evaluation is made with considerable uncertainty, of which some
parts can be reduced with further studies (e.g. availability of sites),
while other parts are by nature impossible to estimate with precision
(e.g. future gas prices). However it is safe to conclude that there probably
will be a positive contribution to the economy from the proposed investment,
and if environmental costs are included this positive contribution will
probably be large.
is found to generate substantial employment: 180,000 people would work
in the wind energy industry in Western Europe by 2020, and a total effect
for the society would be probably above 250,000 jobs generated by the
production and maintenance of windturbines.
The windturbines will reduce CO2 emissions by 80
mill tons/year in the Kyoto budget period of 2008-2012 and 320 mill t/year
in 2020, if they replace a mix of 60% gas power and 40% coal power. This
is equal to respectively 2.5% and 10% of present CO2 emissions of EU+Norway.
To reach the
goal of 220,000 MW windpower it is important to establish policies to
support the development, locally, nationally and in EU. The experience
of the last decades have shown that a development has taken place only
in countries with a political commitment for windpower and other renewable
energies. For the support of windpower development in Western Europe this
* to ensure local support for and involvement in
the development of windpower
* to establish an enabling market framework, with
stable prices for wind electricity and grid access.
* to include sites for windpower in land-use planning
* to set national and regional targets, e.g. for
2005, 2010 and 2020
* to stop EU's preferential treatment of atomic
and coal energy over windpower and other renewable energy sources
* to remove environmentally harmful subsidies
* to include environmental costs in energy costs
* to support research, development, and dissemination
other regions to develop their windpower sector, this report proposes:
* to include of windpower technologies as part of
national official assistance programs.
* that international treaties' provision for transfer
of technologies (e.g. climate convention art. 4.1) are used for transfer
of windpower technologies.
* that international assistance programs (EUís PHARE
& TACIS, UNDP etc.) give priority to windpower
* that multilateral development banks give priority
to windpower in their energy sector lending.
is based on the recent report on how to reach 10% windpower globally "Wind
Force 10, - A Blueprint to Achieve 10% of the World's Electricity from
Wind Power by 2020", European Wind Energy Association, Forum for Energy
& Development, and Greenpeace International, October 1999.
2. Goals for Western
3. Economy, Employment
4. Policies to Achieve
Annex 1. National Division
of 220,000 MW Windpower in Western Europe
Annex 2. Economic Calculations
for the Development of Windpower in Western Europe
Annex 3. Employment
from 220,000 MW Windpower in Western Europe
Target years EU-15
land-based Others, land-based Off-shore Total
targets for Western Europe (OECD-Europe). These targets are in line
with the 10% worldwide target.
The targets for Western Europe
must be broken down into national targets to be operational. National
targets have to be agreed on national level, based on national discussions
and planning (as proposed in chapter 4 of the report). An example of national
targets corresponding to the regional targets for 2010 and 2020 is given
in the report.
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