Europe's wind power capacity is behind to meet the climate and energy targets because the permitting rules and procedures are too complex
By Nina Chestney
LONDON, Feb 25 (Reuters) - Europe's wind power capacity is not growing fast enough to deliver the European Union's climate and energy targets due to complex permitting rules, industry group WindEurope said in a report on Thursday.
Europe installed 14.7 gigawatts (GW) of new wind energy last year, 19% less than what was expected before the coronavirus pandemic hit. Europe now has a total of 220 GW wind energy capacity.
WindEurope expects Europe to build 105 GW of new wind farms over the next five years but this will be below the pace needed to deliver the European Union's energy and climate targets.
The EU's 27 nations are set to build 15 GW per year of new wind from 2021-2025 but need to build 18 GW per year from 2021-2030 to deliver the EU's existing 40% emissions cut target and 27 GW per year to meet a tougher 55% emissions reduction target by 2030.
"Permitting rules and procedures are too complex. There are not enough people working in the permitting authorities to process permit applications. Governments have to address this. Otherwise the Green Deal is at risk," said Giles Dickson, chief executive of WindEurope.
The number of turbines reaching the end of their operational life is also increasing.
WindEurope represents players in the wind industry with over 400 members.
(Reporting by Nina Chestney; editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)