Offshore wind sees record growth in 2017

Offshore WindEurope Offshore wind in Europe saw a record 3,148MW of net additional installed capacity in 2017

The offshore wind sector had a record year with 4,331MW installed globally, the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) has reported.

In top market position was the UK with 1,680MW installed, followed by Germany with 1,247MW and China with 1,161MW.

WindEurope’s annual onshore and offshore wind statistics show offshore wind represented 20% of the annual EU installations, with 3,154MW of new capacity connected to the grid in 2017. This was double than 2016 and a slight increase compared to 2015, which was an exceptional year due to the resolving of grid connection delays in Germany.

Installed capacity growth

WindEurope’s annual onshore and offshore wind statistics show offshore wind in Europe saw a record 3,148MW of net additional installed capacity in 2017. This corresponds to 560 new offshore wind turbines across 17 wind farms.

Europe now has a total installed offshore wind capacity of 15,780 MW. This corresponds to 4,149 grid-connected wind turbines across 11 countries.

14 projects were completed, including the first floating offshore wind farm. Work is ongoing on a further 11 projects in Germany and the UK which once completed are expected to increase the total installed grid-connected capacity by a further 2.9 GW, bringing the cumulative capacity in Europe to 18.7 GW.

Investments

2017 was also a record year for new investments in future wind farms. 2.5GW worth of offshore projects reached final investment decision. But the value of these investments €7.5bn offshore was down on 2016.

Cost reductions in the wind industry supply chain and increased competition in auctions gave investors more capacity for less cash, said WindEurope.

However, WindEurope CEO Giles Dickson warned: “The transition to auctions has been messier than we hoped. And crucially we lack clarity from many Governments on their ambitions for renewables post-2020. Countries need to start clarifying how much wind energy they want to deploy in the future.”

By 2020, offshore wind is projected to grow to a total installed capacity of 25GW.

By Rebecca Jeffrey

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