LONDON, July 23 (Reuters) - Europe's installed wind capacity will increase at a slower rate to the end of the decade than previously estimated due to regulatory uncertainty and weak economic growth, an industry association said on Wednesday.
European Union countries will have a combined 192.4 gigawatts (GW) of installed wind energy capacity by 2020, 64 percent higher than 2013 levels, the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) said in a report.
However, this is almost 40 GW below the EWEA's previous estimate five years ago of 230 GW by 2020, potentially a disappointment for wind turbine makers such as Vestas, Siemens and Enercon.
"A cocktail of regulatory uncertainty, ongoing climate and energy discussions at EU level and rapidly evolving national frameworks has contributed to these new scenarios," said Justin Wilkes, deputy chief executive officer of the EWEA.
The European Commission has revised its estimate of final power demand in 2020 to 2,956 TerraWatt-hours (TWh), which is 11 percent lower than its 2009 estimate of 3,336 TWh.
This reduced estimate has had a impact on new power installations for all generation technologies, and has impacted investment plans, new orders and existing installations in markets across Europe, EWEA said.
Several European countries have slashed subsidies for renewables, including wind energy, because they were too much of a burden on their economies.
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