Offshore Wind in Europe

This report, Offshore Wind in Europe, summarises construction and financing activity in European offshore wind farms from 1 January to 31 December 2017.

By 2020, offshore wind is projected to grow to a total installed capacity of 25 GW.

In 2019 Europe will see another record of offshore wind power connected to the grid.

There are 400 MW currently in construction, which will connect to the grid throughout 2018.

However, the number of grid-connected projects will fall towards 2020 as European Member States meet their National Renewable Energy Action Plans (NREAPs) under the current Renewable Energy Directive, which covers the period up to 2020. However, a good level of construction activity will continue. 
By 2020 WindEurope expects a total European offshore wind capacity of 25 GW. The offshore market will concentrate mainly in the UK, with 3.3 GW of new grid-connected capacity in the period between 2018 and 2020, followed by Germany with 2.3 GW, Belgium with 1.3 GW, the Netherlands with 1.3 GW and Denmark with 1.0 GW. 

The projection to 2022 includes:

  • Projects under construction and awaiting grid connection (2.9 GW);
  • Projects consented (13.2 GW)
    • with a FID and for which construction will start before 2022, and
    • projects awarded in auctions but without FID.

Beyond 2022, there is uncertainty over the EU market for offshore wind. Member States have just started drafting their National Climate Action Plans (NCAPs) for the post-2020 period. A few countries have stated political commitments, but today Germany is the only country with clear volume commitments enshrined in legislation. The Renewable Energy Act (EEG) commits to 700 MW of offshore wind power per year from 2023-2025 and 840 MW per year from 2026-2030. 

WindEurope expects a total capacity of 70 GW of offshore wind energy by 2030 in its Central Scenario. Most of this capacity will be in the North Sea, with almost 48 GW. The uptake of offshore wind in the Baltic Sea will also play a key role, with potentially 9 GW of installed capacity by 2030. 

The UK has the highest share of offshore wind capacity (50%) which has received government consent to construct, followed by Germany (24.4%), Sweden (8.1%), the Netherlands (5.6%) and Ireland (4.1%) in the top five. 

By Martine Farstad