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With 308 new offshore wind turbines installed in 2010 - an increase of 51% in installed wind power capacity on the previous year - offshore wind power experienced a new record growth in Europe. In total, 883MW of new capacity, worth some €2.6 billion, were installed in 2010 in nine wind farms in five countries, making a total of 2,964MW.
The installed offshore wind power capacity now supplies the equivalent of 2.9 million average EU households with electricity from a total of 1,136 offshore wind turbines. These figures are published by the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) in its “European offshore wind industry - key trends and statistics 2010”. They show the United Kingdom to be European leader, with a total installed offshore wind capacity of 1,341MW. The UK is followed by Denmark (854MW), The Netherlands (249MW), Belgium (195MW), Sweden (164MW), Germany (92MW), Ireland (25MW), Finland (26MW) and Norway with 2.3MW. During 2010, 29 new offshore turbine models were announced by 21 manufacturers: 44 new turbine models have been announced by 33 manufacturers over the last two years. 2010 saw an improving financing environment with private banks, financial institutions like the European Investment Bank (EIB), utilities and pension funds backing the sector. EWEA forecasts continued strong growth for 2011. Between 1,000 and 1,500MW of new offshore wind power capacity is expected to be fully grid connected in Europe during 2011, compared with 883MW of new capacity in 2010. Ten European wind farms are currently under construction with a total of 3,000MW – these will more than double the installed capacity in the 45 already grid connected offshore wind farms. EWEA research shows that a total of 19GW of offshore wind capacity is already fully consented.
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