News Release

Years of growth ahead for Eastern European onshore wind

Auction mechanisms and emerging markets boost market growth by more than twofold

Onshore wind energy in Eastern Europe, Russia and the Caspian will experience a compound annual growth rate of 9% from 2018 to 2027, according to new research by Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables.

The latest 'Eastern Europe Onshore Wind Market Outlook 2018reports 16GW of new onshore wind capacity will be added in the region over the next 10 years.

“The development will be largely driven by the implementation of auction schemes in Russia and Kazakhstan and proposed auctions in Poland and Ukraine,” said lead author Sohaib Malik, market analyst.

Wind power auctions have fast become a favoured policy tool of Eastern European countries as they follow a global trend of moving away from feed-in tariff (FIT). In other markets globally, such auctions have led rapid growth, with Brazil and Saudi Arabia being only two examples.

Mr Malik added: “Poland will be picking back up as a dominant market in the region soon after the enactment of favourable amendments introduced to the renewable energy act in July 2018, which will allow the previously permitted, but halted, wind projects to participate in auctions. This development gives a major boost to the Polish onshore wind market.”

A maturing wind project pipeline in Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan will support the medium-term market outlook. Russia will experience immense growth between 2021 and 2024 as developers are required to connect most of the 3.2GW of awarded capacity during this period. Ukraine, on the other hand, will have transitioned from the feed-in tariff (FIT) regime to auctions by the end of 2019, which will create more competition between developers to help reduce the cost of wind power.

Mr Malik added: “We expect significant coal decommissioning in Hungary, Poland and Romania after 2020 due mainly to an ageing fleet and stricter emissions regulations. As wind power becomes more competitive due to reductions in technology costs and environmental benefits, it will be in a strong position to displace this coal power capacity in EU member states across the region.”

In future, an interplay of continued growth in those leading regional markets, as well as the emergence of small, new wind markets such as Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Slovakia, will ensure long-term growth prospects.

Mr Malik said: “Traditionally a rather small region where developers added 142MW of new wind capacity in 2017 in three markets, Eastern Europe will grow by more than twofold over the next 10 years.”

Only regulatory uncertainty poses a risk to this positive forecast, which can be mitigated by proactive measures by the relevant governments. To ensure that awarded wind power capacity is ultimately commissioned, governments in Eastern Europe will have to streamline permitting and grid integration regulations.

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