UK and Germany lead offshore wind growth

Europe installed 2.6 GW of new offshore wind energy capacity in 2018, according to statistics released today by WindEurope - an 18 per cent increase in Europe’s offshore wind capacity.

With 15 new offshore wind farms, the UK and Germany accounted for 85 per cent of the new capacity: 1.3 GW and 969 MW respectively. Europe now has 105 offshore wind farms across 11 countries with a total capacity of 18.5 GW. This is around 10 per cent of the total installed wind energy capacity in Europe with the rest being onshore.

It is not just capacity that is increasing, the average size of the new turbines installed have also grown by 15 per cent over 2017, and the world’s biggest offshore turbines were installed in the UK at 8.8 MW. The UK also and opened the world’s largest offshore wind farm, the Walney 3 extension. Belgium and Germany also opened their largest wind farms to date. A further six offshore wind farms are currently under construction in Europe, including the world’s first 1 GW offshore wind farm at Hornsea 1 in the UK.

WindEurope CEO Giles Dickson said: “The technology keeps developing. The turbines keep getting bigger. And the costs keep falling. It’s now no more expensive to build offshore wind than it is to build coal or gas plants. And it’s a good deal cheaper than new nuclear.

“But a few countries are underperforming on it and risk missing out. Sweden is not building any offshore wind despite great potential. Germany has only a modest target for 2030. And the ‘gamma minus’ performer is France which still has no offshore wind farms nor is it clear when they will have.”

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