European Offshore Wind Forecast to Add 3.5GW Capacity in 2017

Europe will install more than 3.5 gigawatts of offshore wind capacity this year, the WindEurope industry group said.

Germany and the U.K. will install more than 1.6 gigawatts each, while Belgium will add 165 megawatts and Denmark 23 megawatts, according to WindEurope’s annual offshore statistical release published on Thursday. Europe connected 1.6 gigawatts of offshore power to the grid in 2016, giving the continent 12.6 gigawatts cumulative capacity.

“We’re set to reach 25 gigawatts total capacity by 2020 - double today’s level,” WindEurope Chief Executive Officer Giles Dickson said.

Investment this year is unlikely to beat the record 18.2 billion euros ($19.5 billion) of spending in 2016, said WindEurope spokesman Oliver Joy. That money financed 4.9 gigawatts of new capacity. Offshore wind costs plummeted over the course of the year.

“A lot of projects up to 2020 have or are being financed,” Joy said.

The organization is asking countries to set out their plans for offshore wind for the next decade to provide clarity for investors. So far, only Germany, the U.K. and Netherlands have done so, he said. Denmark’s energy minister said this week he is preparing to unveil a plan to put an end to subsidies that have supported renewable energy in the country since the 1970s.

“Europe needs to keep up the strong growth of offshore wind to deliver the energy transition,” Dickson said in the statement.

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