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Wind blows by coal in Europe

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But the most capacity to generate energy does not always translate to the most energy actually provided; as the Guardian points out, coal is still meeting more of Europe's energy demand overall, because wind power in inherently intermittent-when there's no wind, there's no power. But they're not. Government policy on energy across Europe is less clear and ambitious than it was a few years ago.

The total capacity added was 3% down on 2015 but a surge in offshore wind farms - which are twice as expensive as those built on land - being connected in Britain saw total, Europe-wide investment hit a record €27.5 billion.

Wind made up 51 per cent of all new power capacity past year, followed by solar panels (27 per cent), natural gas (13 per cent) and biomass (4.3 per cent), the report said.

WindEurope hope the tool will encourage the installation of more wind capacity, demonstrating that wind power is a "mainstream technology" that is capable of competing with conventional plants.

France, the Netherlands, Finland, Ireland and Lithuania all set new records for wind power installations.

Overall European wind capacity reached 153.7GW, with wind energy meeting 10.4 per cent of Europe's electricity needs a year ago.

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These are the highlight figures from European wind energy trade body WindEurope's annual Wind in power statistics report.

Wind power alone made up nearly 9% of Europe's energy use yesterday, according to WindEurope's daily wind power-tracking tool, for a total of 892 gigawatt-hours of energy.

"With all the talk about the transition to low-carbon, things should be looking good long-term for the wind industry in Europe", explained Giles Dickson.

For comparison, although the numbers are not yet finalized, about 63% of new energy capacity in the US came from renewable sources, according to the US Energy Information Administration.

Not only that, but for the first time ever, over half of the new capacity added to the grid came from wind, overtaking coal as the second largest form of power capacity after natural gas. "And we're lacking long-term price signals to support investment".

Solar generation has also risen dramatically from virtually nothing in 2007 to a total of about 100GW of installed capacity across the European Union a year ago.

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