The European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) reports that 132 new offshore wind turbines – totaling 523.2 MW – were fully grid connected in Europe in the first six months of this year, representing a 50% increase compared to the same period in 2011.
‘Fifty percent more offshore wind power capacity was installed in Europe in the first half of 2012 compared to the same period last year, despite the economic and financial turmoil,’ says Christian Kjaer, CEO at EWEA.
Offshore wind power creates jobs in Europe, reduces our fuel import costs, and avoids the global and local health and environmental costs of extracting, transporting and burning fossil fuels, according to EWEA.
Offshore wind power is increasingly attracting investors, including pension funds and other institutional and corporate investors, EWEA says, noting that it would like to see more activity in southern Europe where jobs, investments and growth are desperately needed,’ EWEA notes.
A total of 4,336 MW offshore wind capacity was operating at the end of June – up from 3,294 MW in June 2011. And with an additional 647.4 MW built and awaiting grid connection, this year could be the best ever for offshore wind energy in Europe.
The association notes that completion of the offshore wind farms is subject to weather conditions at sea and grid-connection delays.