European offshore wind power in 2015: record €13bn investment, 3 GW new capacity

Offshore wind investments in Europe doubled in 2015 to €13.3bn in a record year for financing and grid connected installations. A total of 3,019 MW in new offshore wind capacity came online in European waters in 2015, more than double the capacity connected to the grid in 2014. Europe’s total offshore wind capacity now stands at 11,027 MW. A further 3,034 MW of capacity, spread across ten projects, reached final investment decision last year, a twofold increase on 2014. These are some of the main figures contained in “The European offshore wind industry – key trends and statistics 2015”, a report published by EWEA.

3,019 MW of net installed, grid-connected capacity was added in 2015, 108% more than in 2014. Germany (2,282 MW), the UK (556 MW) and the Netherlands (180 MW) were the countries to grid-connect offshore wind farms in 2015. 75.4% of all net capacity brought online was in Germany, a four-fold increase in its grid-connected capacity compared to 2014. This was largely due to the delay in grid connections finally coming online in 2015 in Germany. The second largest market was the UK with an 18.7% share, followed by the Netherlands with 5.9%. Of the total 3,019 MW connected last year in European waters, 86.1% were in the North Sea, 9.2% in the Baltic Sea and 4.7% in the Irish Sea.

754 offshore wind turbines in 15 wind farms were gridconnected from 1 January to 31 December 2015. 419 new turbines were erected in 2015. Seven turbines were decommissioned in the UK and Sweden, resulting in a net addition of 412 turbines. 53 of these turbines are awaiting grid connection. Read more…

Article published in: FuturENERGY January-February 2016