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Windtech International March April 2024 issue






In 2023, Europe experienced a significant boost in offshore wind energy, with a record-breaking 4.2 GW of new offshore wind farms becoming operational – a 40% increase from 2022, according to data published by WindEurope.
The investment in the sector also reached an unprecedented €30bn, covering the construction of 9 GW in the upcoming years. Noteworthy developments include the establishment of new factories in Poland, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, and Spain, indicating a positive turnaround in the supply chain.
The EU and Europe as a whole witnessed their best year for offshore wind installations, with 4.2 GW added in 2023, surpassing the previous year by 1.7 GW. The Netherlands, France, and the UK led in new capacity installations, including the world's largest operational wind farm, the 1.5 GW "Hollandse Kust Zuid" project in the Netherlands.

Record-breaking investments of €30bn were raised for eight wind farms, supporting the development of 9 GW in offshore capacity. This marked a recovery from a previous low in 2022, signifying renewed confidence and optimism in Europe's offshore wind industry.

Positive policy measures, such as the EU Wind Power Package and commitments by 26 European Governments in the European Wind Charter, contributed to the industry's revival. In the UK, adjustments to the ceiling price for offshore auctions (AR6) and significant project milestones, like the 2.9 GW Hornsea 3 offshore wind farm, further bolstered the sector.

Looking ahead to 2024, significant offshore wind auctions are planned in Germany, Denmark, the UK, France, and the Netherlands, potentially auctioning at least 40 GW. However, concerns arise regarding the prevalent use of uncapped negative bidding, posing risks to developers and the overall project feasibility.

Poland made strides in offshore wind development, with the final investment decision for the 1.2 GW Baltic Power project and attracting major investments, including Vestas' new blade factory and Windar Renovables' tower factory.

To meet ambitious climate and energy targets, Europe needs to scale up offshore wind production to 5 GW annually for the next three years and address potential bottlenecks in the supply chain. Investments in expanded and new factories, along with infrastructure development in grids, ports, and vessels, are crucial for achieving long-term sustainability and reaching targets for the period 2027-2030.
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