The wind potential for Europe could be 20 times greater than energy demand in 2020, according to the latest report from the European Environmental Agency (EEA, www.eea.europa.eu), which was covered in a story by Industrial Info Resources (www.industrialinfo.com). The report, titled “Europe”s Onshore and Offshore Wind Energy Potential — An Assessment of Environmental and Economic Constraints,” concludes that wind power generation potential is far greater than previously thought. As such, Industrial Info’s story on the EEA report says that despite the environmental and social constraints on wind sector development, like noise, visual impact and danger to wildlife, wind could easily play a much bigger role in achieving the European renewable energy targets of 20 percent of power generation from renewable sources by 2020.

At the end of 2008, 65 gigawatts (GW) of wind power capacity was installed in the European Union”s (EU) 27 nations, producing 142 terawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity. Wind energy currently meets 3.7% of EU electricity demand and the goal is to boost that to 12% by 2020. The report claims that wind power”s potential in 2020 will be three times greater than Europe”s expected electricity demand, rising to a factor of seven by 2030.

According to the EWEA, the report”s findings show that its own 230-GW target for 2020 is “eminently achievable.” That would amount to 600 TWh per year in the EU by 2020, accounting for between 14 percent and 18 percent of total EU electricity demand and enough power to run 135 million homes.

For the full Industrial Info story on the EEA’s “Europe’s Onshore and Offshore Wind Energy Potential” report, click here (registration required).