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4.9 GW Of European Offshore Wind Capacity In Development, Says EWEA

The European Wind Energy Association havs released a report investigating the European offshore wind industry for the first half of 2014, and found that there are currently 16 commercial offshore wind farms totalling 4.9 GW currently under construction, boosting European offshore wind capacity.

Furthermore, a total of 224 new offshore wind turbines amounting to 781 MW were fully connected during the first six months of the year, 25% less than was seen during the same period a year earlier. Another 282 turbines were installed but not connected, another 1,200 MW of capacity waiting for completion.

“Despite offshore wind power installations being lower than in the first six months of last year, it remains the fastest growing power sector in Europe” said Justin Wilkes, Deputy Chief Executive Officer at the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA).

“However, despite significant financing activity in the first half of the year, the contraction in installations we have witnessed in these first six months, may well continue into 2015 and 2016,” warned Wilkes.

“To ensure healthy growth in the latter part of the decade, and to ensure offshore wind energy plays its role in meeting the EU’s competitiveness, security, renewable and climate objectives, the industry must be given longer-term visibility. An ambitious deal on the 2030 Climate and Energy package by the EU’s Heads of State in October would send the right signal, making their decision particularly important for the offshore wind sector” concluded Wilkes.

The offshore UK wind sector has suffered greatly from uncertain governmental economic policies and support for the renewable energy industry for several years now. And while the sector has managed to push forward through these obstacles, these latest figures show that the political uncertainty is finally beginning to affect the full pipeline.

Private investments will be incredibly important moving forward for European offshore wind capacity, especially if the UK government follows through with removing funding for the offshore wind industry.

Interestingly enough, opposing wind farms has recently been shown to be a turnoff for voters, according to new independent research from ComRes.

The report, commissioned by RenewableUK, shows that political parties that oppose wind development are actually at risk of losing twice as many votes as they gain for their stance.

“This poll shows that anti-onshore wind policy is a clear vote-loser, with Conservative, Labour and Lib Dem voters turned off by anti-onshore rhetoric,” said RenewableUK Chief Executive Maria McCaffery. “Those who espouse anti-wind views should pay particular attention to results in the marginal seats which will determine the next election. The public understands that we need more onshore wind.

“Onshore wind is the cheapest form of low carbon technology, and provided enough power for 3.8 million households last year. Voters understand it’s wrong to rule out further onshore wind and will not back candidates who try to. This sends a clear message to politicians to back this technology and the 19,000 people who work in the industry.”

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