2010 will be record year for offshore wind

On 20th July 2010 the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) published their latest statistics on offshore wind turbine developments.

118 new offshore wind turbines were fully connected to the grid during 2010 H1. These turbines have a capacity of 333 MW – well over half the 577 MW installed offshore last year – showing continuing strong growth in offshore wind power despite the financial crisis. In addition, 151 turbines (440 MW) were installed but are not yet connected to the grid.

The EWEA statistics show that 16 offshore wind farms totalling 3,972 MW were under construction in 2010 H1. Of these, 4 became fully operational: Poseidon in Denmark; Alpha Ventus in Germany; Gunfleet Sands and Robin Rigg in the UK.

To date in Europe there are 948 offshore wind turbines in 43 fully operational offshore wind farms, with a total capacity of 2396 MW.

Among the developers E.ON Climate and Renewables developed 64% of the offshore capacity grid connected during the first half of 2010, followed by Dong (21%) and Vattenfall (11%). Among the manufacturers Siemens accounted for 55% of the offshore capacity grid connected during the first half of 2010, Vestas 36% and REpower 9%.

“Despite the financial crisis offshore wind continues to be a major growth industry” said Justin Wilkes, EWEA Director of Policy in a press statement. “The number of offshore wind turbines connected to the grid is in the first half of this year is well over half the total amount installed all last year and I am confident we are heading for a record year.”

Mr Wilkes added that: “There is no doubt this burgeoning industry is being held back by a lack of finance. Projects led by utilities are less affected thanks to their ability to fund investments from their balance sheets but independent developers are severely constrained. Loans from public institutions such as the European Investment Bank are crucial and have already helped a number of projects, and this support must be extended further.”

“Europe is a world leader in offshore wind energy and continuing growth – and the availability of finance – is essential for European jobs and competitiveness as well as for reducing CO2 emissions.”

For further information and analysis – go to www.ewea.org/

The EWEA actively promotes the utilisation of wind power in Europe and worldwide. It now has over 650 members from almost 60 countries including manufacturers with a 90% share of the world wind power market, plus component suppliers, research institutes, national wind and renewables associations, developers, electricity providers, finance and insurance companies and consultants.

Compiled by Andrew W. Cox, Energy Intelligence & Marketing Research, UK