There is over 141 GW of offshore wind energy capacity already built, under construction, consented or planned in Europe – enough to power 130 million homes, according to new figures.
The report from the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) out this week looking at offshore wind in 17 member states finds that the region’s pipeline of projects represents over 35 times the current installed capacity of 4 GW.
There is 5.6 GW of new offshore wind capacity under construction in the UK, Germany and Belgium alone, with the UK leading the charge totalling over 4.3 GW under construction, 0.59 GW consented and over 42 GW planned.
Once complete, Europe’s offshore wind farms could provide up to 13% of the region’s total electricity production.
“There is huge developer interest in offshore wind energy across Europe,” says Arthouros Zervos, president of EWEA. “Developers, governments and investors realise that offshore wind energy offers the growth and jobs that Europe desperately needs.”
The EWEA report, Wind in our Sails, estimates that the offshore wind sector could create 169,000 jobs in the region by 2020 and as many as 300,000 by 2030.
But the report warns that Europe could miss out on the opportunity if insufficient levels of financing are raised from investors.
“The offshore wind energy sector can replicate the success of the onshore wind technology development, which is now a mainstream source of power competitive with new coal and gas plants,” says Zervos. “However, to ensure this happens, EU-decision-makers need to set ambitious renewable energy targets beyond 2020, invest more in research and develop offshore grid.”
For further information:
Investment and pension funds called on to back UK offshore wind (29-Nov)
Deployment of renewables must be speeded up, says IEA (28-Nov)
EIB backs Vattenfall’s Thanet offshore wind farm with £150 million (24-Nov)
The Crown Estate blows ahead 5 GW of offshore wind in Scottish waters (31-Oct)
02 December 2011