Wind turbines “’ on
the move in Europe
 
London, England — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 18 February 2011 – With 308 new offshore wind turbines installed in 2010 – a 51% increase in installed capacity on the previous year “’ offshore wind power experienced record growth in Europe, according to the latest analysis to emerge from the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA).

EAWA’s ‘European offshore wind industry – key trends and statistics 2010’ document reveals that across nine installations and five countries some 883MW of new offshore capacity was developed in 2010, bringing Europe’s offshore installed capacity to a total of 2 964MW.

“Worth some €2.6 billion in 2010, there are more than 1 100 offshore wind turbines currently operational in Europe, which in a normal wind year would produce 11.5 TWh of electricity,” EWEA says.

More detailed figures reveal the UK to be the clear global leader with a total of 1 341MW, followed by Denmark with 854MW. The Netherlands, Belgium and Sweden have 249 MW, 195 MW and 164MW, respectively. Germany boasts 92MW, Ireland 25MW, Finland26 MW and finally Norway, with 2.3MW, brings up the rear.

Turning to technology developments, EWEA says that during 2010, 29 new offshore turbine models were announced by 21 manufacturers, bringing the number of new turbine models developed over the last two years to 44, from 33 manufacturers.

EWEA’s chief executive, Christian Kjaer, commented: “With over 50% market growth, 2010 sets a new record for European offshore wind energy.”

However, Kjaer also warned: “Finance remains a big challenge, although we are seeing improvements with more banks and other financing institutions ready to invest in large offshore wind projects.”

Furthermore, EWEA forecasts continued strong growth over the coming year, with 1to 1.5 GW of new grid-connected capacity anticipated.

A total of 19GW of offshore wind capacity is fully consented and 10 plants are currently under construction, a total of 3 GW, EWEA research shows. These figures do not include the more than 32GW of offshore capacity planned, but not yet fully consented, in the UK.