Photo from Borkum Riffgrund 2 which came into operation in 2018.

Europe Installs Record-Breaking 4.2 GW of Offshore Wind in 2023

Europe’s offshore wind industry brought online a record 4.2 GW of new capacity in 2023 and is expected to build around 5 GW of offshore wind annually over the next three years, according to WindEurope data. However, this is still not enough to meet the continent’s 2030 climate and energy security targets, WindEurope added.

The overall offshore wind capacity installed in 2023 was 40 per cent higher than in 2022. Of the 4.2 GW of new capacity, 3 GW was in the EU, an increase of 2.1 GW year on year, WindEurope said.

The Netherlands, France, and the UK installed the most new capacity, including the 1.5 GW Hollandse Kust Zuid offshore wind project in the Netherlands, according to the organisation.

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According to figures published by WindEurope, offshore wind investments in Europe also reached a new record with a total of EUR 30 billion raised across eight wind farms which will finance 9 GW of new offshore capacity.

This record comes after legal uncertainty and unhelpful market intervention led to a drop in offshore wind investments, falling to an all-time low of EUR 0.4bn in 2022, according to WindEurope.

Last year saw several positive developments including the publication of EU’s Wind Power Package, with 26 European Governments committing to implementing the actions ascribed to them in the package.

In the UK, the government raised the ceiling price by 66 per cent for the upcoming offshore auction round (AR6) following no bids in the 2023 Contracts for Difference (CfD) auction round (AR5) after the country failed to adjust the maximum ceiling price to the market reality of inflation and higher input prices.


According to WindEurope, 2024 is going to be a big year for offshore wind auctions. If all countries run their 2024 auctions as planned, at least 40 GW will be auctioned this year. Germany, Denmark, the UK, France, and the Netherlands are the top five countries auctioning capacity over the next two years.

France will announce the results of Europe’s first commercial-scale floating offshore wind tender. Germany will auction 8 GW in 2024 alone. As a comparison: Europe auctioned 13.5 GW of new offshore wind capacity in 2023, according to WindEurope.

Big investment also occurred in the Polish offshore wind industry as the country’s first commercial offshore wind farm, the 1.2 GW Baltic Power project, reached final investment decision in 2023, marking the start of Poland’s offshore wind development, according to the organisation.

In addition, Vestas announced plans to build a new blade factory in Szczecin for its flagship V236-15.0 MW offshore wind turbine, which is expected to start operations in 2026.

Also, three new foundation manufacturing facilities for offshore turbines are being built by Sif in Rotterdam, Baltic Structures in Esbjerg, and SeAH in the UK which will assist in debottlenecking the offshore wind supply chain.

Europe Falls Behind on Climate and Energy Security Targets, according to WindEurope

Europe is set to build around 5 GW of offshore wind annually over the next three years which is not enough to reach the continent’s climate and energy security targets, according to WindEurope.

The organisation added that European countries will need to build 24 GW a year in the period 2027-2030 to reach the 2030 targets while today’s offshore wind supply chain can only produce around 7 GW each year.


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