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How much wind power potential does Europe have? Examining European wind power potential with an enhanced socio-technical atlas

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  • P. Enevoldsen
  • Finn Hendrik Permien, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy A/S
  • ,
  • Ines Bakhtaoui, Imperial College Business School, Ecole Nationale Superieure des Mines de Saint-Etienne
  • ,
  • Anna Katharina von Krauland, Stanford University
  • ,
  • Mark Z. Jacobson, Stanford University
  • ,
  • George Xydis
  • Benjamin K. Sovacool
  • Scott V. Valentine, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University
  • ,
  • Daniel Luecht, Envision Energy CoE GmbH
  • ,
  • Gregory Oxley, Envision Energy USA Ltd.

The continuous development of onshore wind farms is an important feature of the European transition towards an energy system powered by distributed renewables and low-carbon resources. This study assesses and simulates potential for future onshore wind turbine installations throughout Europe. The study depicts, via maps, all the national and regional socio-technical restrictions and regulations for wind project development using spatial analysis conducted through GIS. The inputs for the analyses were based on an original dataset compiled from satellites and public databases relating to electricity, planning, and other dimensions. Taking into consideration socio-technical constraints, which restricts 54% of the combined land area in Europe, the study reveals a nameplate capacity of 52.5 TW of untapped onshore wind power potential in Europe - equivalent to 1 MW per 16 European citizens – a supply that would be sufficient to cover the global all-sector energy demand from now through to 2050. The study offers a more rigorous, multi-dimensional, and granular atlas of onshore wind energy development that can assist with future energy policy, research, and planning.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEnergy Policy
Pages (from-to)1092-1100
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2019

    Research areas

  • Energy policy, GIS, Resource assessment, Wind atlas, Wind energy, Wind power

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