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Europe has installed 3.6GW of new offshore wind capacity in 2019, according to statistics released today by WindEurope. 10 new offshore wind farms came online across 5 countries. The UK accounted for nearly half of the new capacity with 1.7 GW. Then came Germany (1.1 GW), Denmark (374 MW) and Belgium (370 MW). And Portugal installed 8 MW of floating offshore wind. Europe now has 22 GW of offshore wind. The UK 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 7.8 MW. A 12 MW offshore wind turbine was installed in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Offshore wind farms are also getting bigger. The average size doubled – it was 300 MW in 2010. Now it is over 600 MW. The largest is Hornsea 1 in the UK – 1.2 GW.
The launch of the new Portuguese floating project – WindFloat Atlantic, funded by the EU’s NER300 programme, means Europe now has 45 MW of floating offshore wind. France, the UK, 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 UK, France and the Netherlands - delivered prices for consumers in the range of €40-50/MWh.
2019 also saw investment decisions in 4 new offshore wind farms, representing 1.4 GW in capacity and €6bn in investments.
The European Commission says Europe needs between 230 and 450 GW of offshore wind by 2050 to decarbonise the energy system and deliver the Green Deal. This requires Europe to build 7 GW of new offshore wind a year by 2030 and ramp up to 18 GW a year by 2050. But the current level of new installations and investments is a long way behind that.
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