The UK accounted for nearly half of the new installed capacity with 1.7GW, followed by Germany with 1.1GW capacity


New floating wind projects are being developed by few European countries including the UK. (Credit: WindEurope asbl/vzw)

Europe has installed 3.6GW of new offshore wind capacity in 2019, marking a new record in annual installations, according to trade body WindEurope’s research.

As per the WindEurope’s statistics, Europe has witnessed the commissioning of 10 offshore wind farms across five countries.

The UK accounted for nearly half of the new installed capacity with 1.7GW, followed by Germany with 1.1GW capacity, Denmark with 374MW, and Belgium with 370MW.

The new wind farms bring the total offshore capacity in Europe to 22GW, with the UK and Germany accounting for three-quarters.

Average size of the offshore wind farms increased to 600MW

WindEurope said that the average size of the offshore wind farms is now over 600MW, an increase from 300MW in 2010.

Additionally, Europe has 45MW of floating offshore wind capacity, following the launch of the new Portuguese floating offshore project, WindFloat Atlantic.

WindEurope said that new floating projects are also being developed by France, the UK, Norway and Portugal while France is planning for a large-scale floating wind farm in 2021.

The prices of the offshore wind are also being reduced significantly, making them cost-efficient compared to developing new gas, coal or nuclear power plants.

According to the European Commission, Europe need to have 230GW to 450GW of installed offshore wind capacity by 2050 in order to decarbonise its energy system.

In order to meet the goal, Europe is required to build 7GW of new offshore wind annually by 2030 and ramp up to 18GW per year by 2050.

However, WindEurope says that Europe’s current level of investments and new installations is a long way behind the goal.

WindEurope CEO Giles Dickson said: “But we’re not currently building enough to deliver on that, let alone the more ambitious volumes needed to deliver the Green Deal. Last year we built a record amount, but only 3 GW.

“The bigger numbers are doable and affordable. Crucially it should provide a masterplan (a) to develop the offshore and onshore grid connections and (b) to get the maritime spatial planning right.

“This will require ever closer cooperation between Governments in the North Sea and the Baltic. And this should also include the UK – they were half of Europe’s investment in offshore wind in the last decade and will remain by far the biggest market.”