BRUSSELS -- There are currently 16 offshore wind farms under construction in Europe totaling 4.9 GW of power capacity. During the first six months of 2014, 224 new offshore wind turbines, totaling 781 megawatts (MW), were fully grid connected in Europe — 25 percent less than during the same period in 2013 (1,045 MW). Also during this period, 282 wind turbines have been installed but not connected, making a total of 310 offshore turbines awaiting grid connection. Once connected they will add a further 1,200 MW of offshore wind energy capacity.
Table: Work carried out in the first half of 2014 in the offshore wind sector
"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).
Once the projects are completed they will bring online 4.9 GW of power capacity. "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.
Total installed offshore wind capacity in Europe is now 7,343 MW in 73 wind farms across 11 countries, capable of producing 27 TWh of electricity, enough to meet the needs of over 7 million households — or the entire population of the Netherlands.
Find the full offshore wind report here.
Lead image: Wind turbine via Shutterstock