European Offshore Wind Projects Attract Record EUR 18.2 Billion in 2016

European offshore wind projects attracted a record EUR 18.2 billion of investments in 2016, according to WindEurope.

Source: WindEurope

Eleven projects reached Final Investment Decision (FID) in 2016. This represents 4,948MW of new capacity across five countries, half of it in the UK.

Giles Dickson, Chief Executive Officer of WindEurope, said: “It’s good to see the high level of investments in offshore wind – up 40% year on year. The new installations are in line with trend rate of the last 5 years after a spike in 2015. This was due to a backlog of grid connections.”

Europe installed 1,558MW of new offshore wind in 2016, with cumulative capacity reaching 12,631MW.

Last year’s 1.5 GW new installations were in 3 countries – Germany (813MW), the Netherlands (691MW) and the UK (56MW) – spread across 7 wind farms. They represent 338 wind turbines with an average size of 4.8MW, up from 4.2MW in 2015. Last year, saw the first 8MW turbines deployed in the UK.

Europe will add over 3GW of new offshore wind capacity in 2017, according to WindEurope.

“We’ve installed on average one wind turbine every day in Europe for the last two years. With a strong pipeline of new projects on the way, we expect the numbers to rise quickly over the next 4 years. We should see over 3GW of new installations in 2017. And we’re set to reach 25GW total capacity by 2020 – double today’s level,” Dickson said.

However, Dickson said that the post-2020 period is an unknown.

”Germany, the Netherlands and the UK have signalled further build-out of offshore wind to 2030, but other countries haven’t yet,” Dickson said.

”Now is the time for them to do so, as they start writing their Energy and Climate Change Action Plans as part of the EU Energy Union. The bottom line is Europe needs to keep up the strong growth of offshore wind to deliver the energy transition. And it’s increasingly affordable: the winning prices in the last four tenders show offshore wind is now competitive with all other forms of power generation.”