EWEA Perceives Slowdown In Record Offshore Figures

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The European Wind Energy Association has released a report suggesting that despite installing a record 1,567 MW of new capacity in 2013, there is in fact a slow-down occurring.

In 2013 a total of 418 turbines came online throughout Europe offshore wind industry, increasing the total offshore wind power to 6,562 MW, enough to provide 0.7% of the European Union’s electricity. However, two-thirds of that capacity came online in the first six months of 2013, leaving only 12 projects currently in construction across the Union, down from 14 this time last year.

“The unclear political support for offshore wind energy – especially in key offshore wind markets like the UK and Germany – has led to delays to planned projects and fewer new projects being launched,” said Justin Wilkes, Deputy CEO at the European Wind Energy Association. “This means installations are likely to plateau until 2015, followed by a decline as from 2016.”

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“An ambitious decision on a 2030 renewable energy target by the Heads of State in March would be the right signal to send to the offshore wind sector that Europe will develop its massive offshore wind potential for green growth, jobs, industrialisation, technological leadership and CO2 reductions,” Wilkes added.

Upon completion, the current 12 projects still under construction will add a further 3 GW to the overall total, bringing total capacity to 9.4 GW across the European Union. The full report (PDF) outlines numerous takeaways from the current offshore wind industry, including a note stating that the “EWEA has identified 22 GW of consented offshore wind farms in Europe and future plans for offshore wind farms totaling more than 133 GW.”

The report’s authors noted that financing markets “remained open for the offshore wind sector in 2013” and this allows for the continued growth of the industry through 2014. However, as Wilkes added, market stability and regulatory pressures need to smoothed so that investment and financing can create further growth for the industry as we move into the second half of the decade.

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Joshua S Hill

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