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Community energy

Wind overtakes hydro in EU power mix

13GW of new wind capacity was added to the grid last year compared to only 0.2GW of new hydro power, new EWEA figures show

The wind industry has surpassed the hydro industry as the third largest player in the European electriticy grid in terms of capacity, and is fast closing the gap on the coal and gas sectors that continue to dominate the continent’s power mix.

Wind energy now provides a total of 142GW of capacity in Europe, with 13GW connected to the grid in 2015, according to new figures released today by the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA). Hydro capacity, meanwhile, increased by only 0.2 GW in 2015, taking total capacity to 141GW.

Gas and coal are still the biggest providers of power in the EU with 192GW and 159GW of installed capacity, respectively. However, the European wind industry accounted for 44 per cent of all new power installations last year – more than any other technology. New capacity was also 1GW higher than that recorded in 2014. The new additions mean wind power can now meet over 11.4 per cent of Europe’s electricity demand.