Europe Installed Record 3.6GW of Offshore Wind in 2019

file photo
file photo

Published Feb 9, 2020 5:14 PM by The Maritime Executive

Europe installed a record 3.6GW of new offshore wind capacity in 2019, according to statistics released by WindEurope. 

10 new offshore wind farms came online across five countries. The U.K. accounted for nearly half of the new capacity with 1.7GW, followed by Germany (1.1GW), Denmark (374MW) and Belgium (370MW). Portugal installed 8MW of floating offshore wind. 

Europe now has 22GW of offshore wind. The U.K. and Germany account for three-quarters of it. Denmark, Belgium and the Netherlands share nearly all of the rest.

The average size of the offshore turbines installed last year was 7.8MW. A 12MW offshore wind turbine was installed in Rotterdam. 

The average size of offshore wind farms has increased from 300MW in 2010 to over 600MW. The largest is Hornsea 1 in the U.K. – 1.2 GW.

The launch of the new Portuguese floating project WindFloat Atlantic, funded by the E.U.’s NER300 program, means Europe now has 45MW of floating offshore wind. France, the U.K., Norway and Portugal are all developing new floating projects. France plans to auction a large-scale floating wind farm in 2021.

Offshore wind costs continue to fall significantly. Last year’s auctions in the U.K., France and the Netherlands delivered prices for consumers in the range of €40-50/MWh ($44-55). This is cheaper than building new gas, coal or nuclear.

2019 also saw investment decisions in four new offshore wind farms, representing 1.4GW in capacity and €6 billion ($6.6 billion) in investments.

The European Commission says Europe needs between 230 and 450GW of offshore wind by 2050 to decarbonise the energy system and deliver the Green Deal. This requires Europe to build 7GW of new offshore wind a year by 2030 and ramp up to 18GW a year by 2050. The current level of new installations and investments would not meet that.