The UK is leading a 50% increase in offshore wind capacity installed in Europe over the past six months compared with the same period last year.
The European Wind Energy Association (EWEA), which published the figures, welcomed the news in the face of the region’s continuing economic crisis and said it could be the “best year ever”.
Thanks to the connection of 132 turbines totalling over 523 MW in Greater Gabbard, Walney 2, Ormonde, London Array, Sheringham Shoal in UK waters, as well as other developments in Belgium, Denmark and Germany, there is now a total of 4336 MW of offshore wind capacity operational in Europe.
The total, which is up from 3294 MW in June last year, is enough to power some four million households.
There are a further 160 turbines awaiting grid connection that will bring an additional 647 MW and 13 wind farms under construction that, once completed, will supply another 3763 MW of capacity.
The new developments include Lincs, London Array, Sherigham Shoal, Gwynt y Môr, Teeside and West of Duddon Sands in UK waters, along with Thornton Bank 2 in Belgium, Anholt and Avedore 2 in Denmark, and BARD Offshore 1, Riffgat Nordsee ost, Global Tech 1, Meerwind, Borkum West II and Innogy Nordsee 1 in Germany.
The wind sector in the UK is well ahead of its competitors, with eight wind farms comprising 158 turbines constructed during the first six months of the year. The 114 turbines connected to the grid are supplying some 422 MW, which will total 2695 MW once all work is completed.
Over the same period, Belgium connected just 12 turbines, Germany four turbines and Denmark a mere two turbines.
DONG Energy has by far the largest share of the new capacity, followed by SSE and RWE npower, with Siemens the dominant turbine manufacturing responsible for some 74% of the connected capacity.
For further information:
Centrica and DONG Energy set sights on 2.2 GW offshore wind farm (20-Jul)
UK government powers ahead with 1 GW of new offshore wind capacity (9-Jul)
World’s largest wind farm opens for business (15-Jun)
Lincs wind farm secures £425 million in financing (8-Jun)
26 July 2012