Even though national and regional economies are sputtering across the globe, offshore wind power installations in Europe increased fifty percent
in the first half of 2012 compared with the first half of 2011.
Over 130 offshore wind turbines were installed in 2012, and 160 more are constructed and waiting for grid connections. So far, those connections have been delayed by weather, but if not for that, the total number of new megawatts in operation might be 647 for this year.
The total number of megawatts of offshore wind capacity by the end of June was over 4,300. An additional 3,700 MW of offshore wind capacity may be built in the near future there.
The European Wind Energy Association has produced some startling numbers in its report from last year on the market outlook for its offshore wind capacity. The report says Europe is making progress toward the goal of 40 GW of capacity by 2020. Additionally, it stated 150 GW of operational offshore wind is possible by 2030.
The report uses 141 GW as the figure associated with offshore wind capacity for Europe — that is offshore wind power capacity planned, already consented, under construction, and online. 114 GW is in the planning stage. The UK has about 42 GW planned, and Germany has over 21 GW in the same category — these are the leading nations. In just eight years, it is expected eighteen European countries will have offshore wind power in operation.
There are many jobs associated with renewable energy projects in Europe. Over two million green jobs could be created if the 2020 renewable energy goals are met.
Image Credit: Public Domain, Wiki Commons