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How much is Europe incentivising in wind power?
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vol. 12

13 April 2023


By Edoardo Simonelli, Eleonora Cacchio


There are 255 GW of wind capacity installed in Europe that generated 487 TWh of electricity last year. More than 88% of wind power installations are onshore but this share is expected to decrease in favor of an increase in offshore wind energy to 25% of the 129 GW of new European wind farms planned by 2027.

The reasons for the lower incentive of large-scale offshore wind farms lie mainly in high input cost inflation, which is not sufficiently reflected in developers’ revenues, but also in the uninspiring market interventions by national governments that have undermined the confidence of most investors in this sector.

In 2022, Europe installed 19,2 GW of new wind power capacity with 16,7 GW of it onshore installed mainly in Germany, Sweden and Finland, while the United Kingdom built half of the offshore installations.

In Italy, wind capacity has been increased by 526 MW but only 30 MW are offshore installations. Overall 4.483 wind power plants are currently incentivised, with more than 85% of them having a capacity of under 200 kW.

Over here, incentives for wind power are monitored by the GSE (Gestore Servizi Energetici), which updates the “renewable sources charges meter” (FER) on a monthly basis. This tool makes it possible to measure the indicative annual cost of the incentives granted to plants powered by renewable sources, other than photovoltaic plants under “Conto Energia”, in accordance with current regulatory measures.

In March 2022, the indicative incentive cost of wind power was EUR 336,8 million which translated into over 16.012 GWh per year of incentivizable wind power. At the end of the last year, wind power generation reached 20.358 GWh, accounting for about 6,43% of national electricity consumption (316.827 GWh in 2022, Terna).

According to the FER counter, wind energy is the most highly incentivized (non-photovoltaic) renewable source in Italy since it accounts for about 41% of the total indicative annual incentive cost (EUR 817,4 million), and as many as 62% of the 7.225 plants incentivised so far are wind power plants.