The European offshore wind industry has attracted more than €14 billion worth of investment in the past six months, with the UK being one of the biggest winners, a new report says. The record level of investment comes from 7 projects that have all reached the Final Investment Decision during the first months of 2016.
The report from WindEurope also indicates energy companies continued commitment to renewable forms of power generation, with companies such as Dong Energy and Siemens continuing to invest.
According to the report, there are now 82 wind farms across 11 countries with the capacity to produce 11,538 megawatts of power. 114 wind turbines have been grid connected in Europe in the first six months of the year, and work has been carried out on 13 windfarms, including four in the United Kingdom.
Commenting on the new figures, CEO of WindEurope, Giles Dickson, said:
“The record investment numbers show a clear industry commitment to offshore wind. We expect installations will pick up significantly in 2017 but there are a lot of challenges out there still on offshore wind. Not least the uncertainty over future volumes and regulation in many key markets for the period after 2020. We’re a long way from being able to say job done on offshore wind.”
The move toward wind power also has the backing of ministers. Recently, energy ministers from nine European countries met together to discuss what they could do to further enhance cooperation when it comes to offshore wind, and they also made commitments to reduce the costs involved in producing it.
Hornsea Project One
One of the biggest projects to receive a Final Investment Decision is the Hornsea Project One offshore wind farm, which is planned for Yorkshire. The site will have the ability to produce 1.2 gigawatts and will power more than 1 million homes, making it the world’s largest wind farm. DONG Energy also has the rights to a further two projects.
The record investments figures are good news for the UK, especially as the government announced in 2015 that it was to end subsidies for wind farms. This led to some fears that companies would be less willing to invest in this renewable form of energy, but the plans for many more projects show this might not be the case.
Instead, some energy producers are looking to alternative means of funding wind farms. Earlier this year, Good Energy announced plans for a wind farm in Cornwall, which will give members of the local community the opportunity to invest.