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Some EU countries turning cold on wind farms

A wave of political and regulatory uncertainty sweeping across the EU has caused the rate of wind farm installations to plummet by as much as 90 per cent in some countries.

The overall amount of wind power generating capacity installed in the EU still rose by 4 per cent last year, outpacing new gas and coal plant capacity combined, writes the FT’s Environment Correspondent, Pilita Clark.

But investments have been severely undermined by “erratic and harsh” changes to renewable energy policies in several previously large wind markets, according to the European Wind Energy Association.

The rate of installations plunged by 90 per cent in Denmark; 84 per cent in Spain and 75 per cent in Italy, the association has reported in its latest annual assessment of the industry.

Spain, which has more wind power than any other EU country except Germany, installed less generating capacity last year than countries outside the bloc such as Ukraine.

Madrid is among several EU capitals to have reined in green energy subsidy programs and changed other energy policies in recent years.

Thomas Becker, EWEA chief executive, said:

‚ÄúThese numbers very much show Europe’s continued commitment to renewable and wind energy. But this is no time for complacency.

The uncertainty over the regulatory framework for the energy sector is a threat to the continued drive toward sustainable and homegrown energy that will guarantee Europe’s energy security and competitiveness for the long-term.”