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Offshore wind in Europe draws €14 billion investment in first half of 2016

The European offshore wind industry attracted a record €14 billion in new investments during the first six months of 2016.

Seven projects reached final investment decision this year, financing a total of 3.7GW of new capacity. The UK accounted for nearly three-quarters of the new investments.

The volume of new grid-connected installations in the first half of 2016 was 511 MW, 78% down on the same period in 2015. This is expected to pick up next year and toward 2020.

Giles Dickson, CEO of WindEurope, said: “The record investment numbers show a clear industry commitment to offshore wind. We expect installations will pick up significantly in 2017 but there are a lot of challenges out there still on offshore wind. Not least the uncertainty over future volumes and regulation in many key markets for the period after 2020. We’re a long way from being able to say job done on offshore wind.”

Total installed offshore wind capacity in Europe now stands at 11,538 MW across 82 wind farms in 11 countries. Only Germany (258 MW) and the Netherlands (253 MW) added new capacity in the first 6 months. The average size of the 114 new turbines installed was 4.8 MW, up from 4.2 MW a year ago.

In June, energy ministers from 9 European countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and Work Programme to enhance their cooperation on offshore wind. In parallel 11 energy companies signed a declaration to reduce offshore wind costs to below €80/MWh by 2025. This assumes an annual build-out of 4-7 GW of offshore wind from 2021 onwards.

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