Europe installed and grid connected 293 offshore wind turbines in 2012 – more than one per working day. This brings the total to 1,662 turbines, in 61 offshore wind farms in ten European countries.
The 293 turbines installed in 2012 represent 1,165 Megawatts (MW), an increase of 33% compared to 2011 installations of 874 MW. This brings total offshore wind energy capacity to 4,995 MW.
Overall, the UK remains the leader with nearly 60% of Europe’s total offshore capacity, followed by Denmark (18%), Belgium (8%) and Germany (6%).
“Offshore wind power is growing solidly,” says European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) Policy Director Justin Wilkes. “But solid installation figures do not alter the fact that the wind industry is being hit by political and regulatory instability, the economic crisis, the higher cost of capital and austerity.”
He continues: “Europe is a world leader in offshore wind energy and could be creating even more jobs if governments gave greater policy certainty to investors, and resolved grid connection problems.”
The turbines installed in 2012 represent investments of around Eur4 billion in offshore wind farms. Offshore prospects for 2013 and 2014 are positive with 14 offshore projects under construction, due to increase installed capacity by a further 3,300 MW, and bring total offshore capacity inEuropeto 8,300 MW.