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Europe Offshore Wind Industry Shatters Record

Europe’s offshore wind industry has shattered previous installation records in the first half of 2015, installing 2,342.9 megawatts (MW) of electricity generation capacity, triple the same time last year.

The European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) revealed Thursday that installations for the first half of 2015 had reached 2,342.9 MW, tripling the grid-connected capacity of the same period in 2014. This brings Europe’s offshore wind grid-connected capacity up to 10,393.6 MW, across 82 wind farms and 11 countries.

“It has taken the offshore wind industry just six months to set the best year the sector has ever seen in terms of installed capacity,” said Kristian Ruby, Chief Policy Officer, EWEA. “While this clearly shows a commitment to offshore wind development in Europe, a number of completed projects, explosive growth in Germany and the use of higher capacity wind turbines are major contributors to these numbers.”

Annual Installed Offshore Wind Capacity in Europe (MW)

EWEA-1

Specifically, 584 wind turbines were connected across the Netherlands, Germany, and the UK, thanks to several projects reaching completion. Add in the use of larger, more powerful wind turbines, and the European offshore wind industry is getting more bang for its buck with each installation completed, with the average size turbine rising from 3.5 MW to 4.2 MW.

EWEA-2

Continuing the cry of renewable energy insiders and experts throughout Europe, Kristian Ruby implored European governments to back offshore wind development.

“To ensure healthy growth in the coming years, and to guarantee offshore wind energy plays its role in meeting the EU’s competitiveness, security and decarbonisation objectives, the industry needs long-term visibility,” Ruby said. “Strong reforms to the operation of Europe’s electricity market and much-needed upgrades to infrastructure to help the integration of wind energy must be a priority. It is also critical that Member States meet renewable energy commitments toward the end of this decade and set out a clear game plan to meet Europe’s 2030 targets.”

Installation and Grid Connection of Wind Turbines in Offshore Wind Farms Between 1 January and 30 June 2015

EWEA-3

All images courtesy of the European Wind Energy Association

 
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