Published: 07 February 2019 07 February 2019
Europe installed 2.6 GW of new offshore wind energy capacity in 2018, according to statistics released by WindEurope. That’s an 18% increase in Europe’s offshore wind capacity.
15 new offshore wind farms came on line. The UK and Germany accounted for 85% of the new capacity: 1.3 GW and 969 MW respectively. Europe now has 105 offshore wind farms across 11 countries with a total capacity of 18.5 GW. This is around 10% of the total installed wind energy capacity in Europe - the rest is onshore.
The size and scale of offshore wind continues to rise. The average size of the new turbines installed last year was 6.8 MW, 15% up on 2017. The UK installed the world’s biggest offshore turbines - 8.8 MW - and opened the world’s largest offshore wind farm - Walney 3 extension, 657 MW. Belgium and Germany also opened their largest wind farms to date. A further six offshore wind farms are currently under construction in Europe, including the world’s first +1 GW offshore wind farm - Hornsea 1 in the UK.
Then a further 12 new offshore wind projects reached Final Investment Decision in 2018. These represent a further 4.2 GW of capacity and €10.3bn of investment. The amount invested was 37% up on 2017 but the capacity covered was up 91% - showing how quickly costs are falling and how much more bang you now get for your buck.