- Industry attracted more than $15 billion in first six months
- U.K. accounted for more than three-quarters of spending
Europe’s offshore wind-power industry attracted more investment in the first half of 2016 than it did during the whole of last year, according to figures from trade association WindEurope.
Investment hit a record 14 billion euros ($15.4 billion) in the first six months of 2016, exceeding the 13.3 billion euros invested in 2015, according to the organization’s report Wednesday.
Britain, the world’s biggest market for the renewable energy technology, drove first half growth in offshore wind, attracting 10.4 billion euros. Germany secured 2.5 billion, Denmark attracted 999 million euros, and Finland the remaining 121 million euros.
“Offshore wind has been a real success story for the U.K., and these latest figures are further evidence of this,” Maf Smith, deputy chief executive of RenewableUK, said in an e-mailed statement. The trade group expects the U.K. to invest more than 20 billion pounds ($26.3 billion) in wind energy in the next five years.
Yet uncertainty over government policies supporting offshore wind has deterred investors across Europe, WindEurope said. Just 5.2 billion euros will be invested from July 2016 to June 2017 for 1.4 gigawatts of new capacity. Installations are expected to rise again toward the end of the decade.
Total global investment in renewable energy is unlikely to match the record highs seen last year, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Worldwide investment in renewable energy fell 23 percent to $116.4 billion in the first two quarters of this year, compared with the first half of 2015.
“The pipeline for new projects in Europe is not sufficient and there is a risk Europe will lose its competitive edge in offshore wind if we don’t see further commitments on deployment soon,” Oliver Joy, a spokesman for WindEurope, said in an e-mailed statement.
The number of offshore turbines connected to the grid fell by 78 percent in the first half of 2016 compared to the same period last year, WindEurope said. Germany and the Netherlands have been the only countries to complete installations so far this year.