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2015: a record year for Offshore wind investments

News   •   Feb 02, 2016 12:18 GMT

Some €13Bn invested in 2015, creating 3GW new capacity.

New figures released by the EWEA (The European Wind Energy Association) show that Offshore wind investments in Europe doubled in 2015 with a total of €13.3Bn, meaning it was a record year for financing and grid-connected installations.

Some 3,019 MW of new offshore wind capacity came online in European waters in 2015, more than double what was connected to the grid in 2014. Europe's total offshore wind capacity is now 11,027 MW.

Further to this, some 3,034MW of capacity, comprising some ten projects, reached final investment decision in 2015, another increase from 2014.

Giles Dickson, Chief Executive Officer of the European Wind Energy Association, said: "It's good to see the high level of investments in offshore wind in Europe in 2015. The 3GW of new capacity additions is also encouraging though it includes a large backlog of grid connections from 2014, especially in Germany.”

Germany added the majority of this, grid-connecting some 2,282MW of Offshore energy, Britain connected 556MW and the Netherlands 180MW.

Work is ongoing on a further six projects in Germany, the UK and the Netherlands, which will contribute an additional 1.9GW in capacity.

With a net addition of 754 wind turbines fully grid connected in 2015, the average machine size rose to 4.2MW from 3.7MW a year earlier as manufacturers continue to develop larger models with higher energy capture.

Mr Dickson said that while Germany had had massive input into the increase, as it cleared a backlog of work from 2014, the UK still has the most installed offshore wind power in Europe – some 5,061MW compared to Germany’s 3,295MW.

He followed: "New capacity additions will be lower in 2016 than 2015 though should then rebound, and we can expect to have over 20GW offshore wind in Europe by 2020. The real question is what happens after 2020. The industry is making real progress in reducing costs. But we need Governments to give us a clear vision of the volumes they envisage long term and the regulatory framework they'll apply to drive the necessary investments. Active collaboration between governments is also key: to align their efforts to develop the sector in the North Sea and Baltic.”

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