Europe is building more wind and solar — without any subsidies

This article discusses new renewable energy projects are expected to be profitable with little government support in Europe. So why not here?

The French electric utility Engie announced last week that it’s going to develop 300 megawatts of wind energy across nine wind farms in Spain, backed by $350 million (€300 million) in investment.

Here’s the key: It’s doing all this without government support. And it’s far from the only European energy company willing to make a bet like this.

In March, the Swedish power company Vattenfall announced it won its bid to build a 700 MW offshore wind farm in the Netherlands, which would make it the first nonsubsidized wind energy project in the land of windmills.

Over in Germany, in the country’s first competitive power auction last spring, the federal grid regulator accepted four bids for a total of 1,490 MW of offshore wind capacity in the North Sea, with an average subsidy rate of €0.44 per kilowatt-hour. That’s low. And why so low? Because one of the bidders, the Danish wind energy firm Dong (now Ørsted A/S), submitted a bid with a subsidy rate of zero.

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