Offshore Wind in Europe - Key trends and statistics 2019

This report summarises construction and financing activity in European offshore wind farms from 1 January to 31 December 2019.

Offshore wind energy reported positive growth in 2019

According to the Wind Europe - Key trends and statistics 2019 report, Europe added 3.62 MW net offshore capacity, from 502 new offshore wind turbines connected to the grid, across 20 wind farms. The cumulative capacity of the content increased to 22 072 MW. There are currently 5047 grid-connected wind turbines in 12 countries.

During 2019, the North Sea held the majority of offshore wind turbines installations. The UK leads turbine installations with 1.74 MW, representing half of the capacity installed in Europe in 2019. Germany is the second-largest contributor; the country connected 1111 MW in three wind farms during 2019. 

Five countries represent 99% of all the capacity connected in Europe. There is 22 072 MW installed capacity derived from 5047 turbines connected to the grid. 

The wind turbines improve in size and capacity

Companies have invested in improving wind turbine capacity. 

  • The new turbines are more powerful and have a capacity of 7.8 MW, 1 MW superior to the previous version. 
  • The offshore wind farms are bigger and now account for 621 MW.
  • As technology moves forward, the offshore wind turbines are located further offshore. In 2019, projects started to be installed 59km away from the coast. 
  • Floating wind turbines will continue to grow and Europe, with 70% of the worldwide market, will maintain its leadership.
  • There are three companies that represent 96% of all capacity connected (Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, MHI Vestas, and Senvion).

Financing continues to be challenging for the development of the wind sector

In 2019, new offshore wind investments received €6bn, which was 40% lower than in 2018. Only 1.4 GW of new capacity reached Financial Investment Decisions during 2019 in France, the Netherlands, Norway, and the UK.

The offshore wind energy continues to position as an important source for the Green Deal

The European Commission says that Europe needs between 230 and 450 GW of offshore wind by 2050 to decarbonise the energy system and deliver the Green Deal. Europe must build 7 GW of new offshore wind a year by 2030 and ramp-up to 18 GW a year by 2050. However, the situation is not as simple as it seems. The current level of new installations and investments hasn´t propelled as it should. 

By Maria Paula Ar…