2011 was a stable year for the offshore wind industry with 235 new offshore wind turbines grid connected, worth approximately Eur2.4 billion. The European Wind Energy Association’s offshore wind statistics for 2011 show that 235 new turbines with a total power capacity of 866 Megawatts (MW) were fully grid connected across nine offshore wind farms. This was slightly down on the 883 MW of new offshore wind capacity connected in 2010.
Nine offshore wind farms currently under construction will bring online an additional 2375 MW – increasing the EU’s total installed offshore wind power capacity by 62%. Across the EU, a total of 1,371 offshore turbines have now been grid connected, with a total power capacity of 3813 Megawatts in 53 wind farms in ten European countries.
EWEA’s target for installed EU offshore wind power capacity by 2020 is 40,000 MW, producing approximately 4% of the EU’s total electricity consumption.
“The offshore wind sector witnessed a stable market in 2011,” says Justin Wilkes, policy director of EWEA. “Despite the economy-wide financial squeeze, 2011 saw a 40 per cent increase on the previous year in offshore non-recourse debt financing, up from Eur1.46 billion in 2010 to Eur2.05 billion in 2011.”
He continues: “The strong project pipeline and financial developments highlight the importance of countries continuing to provide and develop stable long-term frameworks for offshore wind power in order to allow the industry to continue its development.”
The majority (87%) of all newly installed and grid connected offshore wind power in 2011 was in British waters. Siemens supplied 80% of the MW installed offshore last year while SSE and RWE Innogy were the most active developers and DONG Energy continued to be the most active equity player in offshore wind power.