Despite COVID-19, 2020 was a record year for new offshore wind financing in Europe with €26.3bn investments for 7.61 GW of new capacity to be built in the next years

According to the latest WindEurope data, released on February 8, Europe has confirmed a record amount of €26.3bn of investments in new offshore wind farms in 2020. This will finance 7.1 GW of new offshore wind which will be built in the coming years. In this regard, last year Europe built 2.9 GW of new offshore wind and now has 25GW of offshore wind capacity which is in the line with WinEurope’s pre-COVID forecast. By 2050, the EU aims to have 300 GW.

As Giles Dickson, WindEurope CEO, has explained in a press release, “€26 billion in new investments in 2020 is a huge vote of confidence in offshore wind. Investors see that offshore wind is cheap, reliable, and resilient – and that Governments want more of it. And these investments will create jobs and growth. Every new offshore wind turbine generates €15m of economic activity. We expect the 77,000 people working in offshore wind today in Europe to be 200,000 by 2030”.

Europe now has 116 offshore wind farms across 12 countries. 40% of the capacity is in the UK. But new players are entering the scene. France will finally start building its offshore wind farms after final investment decisions on 1 GW which will be built by 2023. They’re also planning four small floating offshore wind farms and this year will tender a large floating offshore wind farm. Poland passed a historic Offshore Wind Act and aims for 28 GW of offshore wind by 2050. Additionally, they initiated an agreement among all eight Baltic countries to cooperate on offshore wind. Greece is about to adopt plans for the build-out of offshore wind. And the three Baltic States – Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania – are all developing projects.

“Offshore wind is no longer just about the North Sea. It’s rapidly becoming a pan-European affair. More and more countries are making commitments on it. Poland, Spain, Greece, Ireland, the three Baltic States all have plans. And the rapid advance of floating offshore wind will help the build-out in the Atlantic, Mediterranean and Black Sea”, has said Dickson.

A webinar on the Trends and Statistics in Offshore Wind in Europe 2020

Wiithin the framework of WindEurope’s efforts to promote offshore wind energy, on Thursday, February 11, the organisation will host a webinar on the latest trends and statistics in this energy field in Europe. The event will start at 11:00 am and will finish at 12:00 PM CET.

In this webinar, WindEurope analysts will discuss the latest developments within the European offshore wind industry, outlining key installations in offshore wind farms, supply chain activity, investment trends, and the latest policy development. The webinar will be also followed by a Q&A session for participants. Anyone interested in attending this event can register through the following link.

In order to achieve the goals set by the European Union by 2050, it will be essential to reduce costs for boosting competitiveness in offshore wind energy. With this purpose, the European project ROMEO, led by Iberdrola, will seek to reduce Operation and Maintenance (O&M) costs in offshore wind farms through the development of advanced monitoring systems and strategies, analysing the real behaviour of the main components of wind turbines (WTG).

ROMEO Project has different demo sites located in the North Sea, Teesside (62.1 MW) and East Anglia ONE (714 MW) in the UK, and in the Baltic Sea, Wikinger (350 MW) in Germany, to test its technological advances and developments.

The initiative is backed by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme and its consortium is formed by several European partners: Iberdrola, Siemens Gamesa, EDF, RAMBOLL, IBM Research – Zurich, INDRA, BACHMANN Monitoring, LAULAGUN Bearings, UPTIME Engineering, University of Strathclyde and ZABALA Innovation Consulting.