Published: 18 April 2019 18 April 2019
Europe invested € 27 billion in new wind farms in 2018, which will finance a record amount of future new wind energy capacity. This is according to WindEurope’s annual ‘Financing and Investment Trends’ report. The amount invested is similar to previous years. But thanks to cost reduction, especially in offshore wind, it will finance a record 16.7GW of new wind capacity.
1MW of new onshore wind capacity now requires only € 1.4 million capital expenditure, down from € 2 million in 2015. And 1MW of new offshore wind capacity requires € 2.5 million, down from € 4.5 million in 2015.
Most of the future new capacity for which investments were announced last year was onshore wind: 12.5GW. Offshore wind accounted for 4.2GW, though 38.5% of the amounts invested.
In total 190 wind farms across 22 different countries in Europe reached Final Investment Decision (FID) last year. Northern and Western Europe still account for most new investments. The UK was the biggest investor, mostly in offshore wind. Sweden was second. Investments in Southern and Central and Eastern Europe were only 4% of the total. A further € 24.1 billion was invested in the acquisition of wind farms including projects under development and of companies involved in wind energy.
Developers are also increasingly financing wind farms through debt. New business and ownership models have diversified the pool of investors, with banks, institutional lenders and Export Credit Agencies (ECAs) looking to provide long-term finance.