Offshore wind energy statistics for the first half of this year published by the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) show a 4.5% increase in installations of offshore wind capacity compared to the first half of 2010.
According to EWEA, 101 new offshore wind turbines, with a total capacity of 348 MW, were connected to the power grids in the U.K., Germany and Norway during the first six months of this year.
In Europe, 11 offshore wind farms worth approximately 8.5 billion euros and with a total capacity of 2,844 MW are currently under construction. The size of the installed offshore wind turbines averaged 3.4 MW – up from an average of 2.9 MW during the first half of 2010.
As of the end of June, there were 1,247 offshore wind turbines fully grid connected with a total capacity of 3,294 MW in 49 wind farms spread between nine European countries.
‘The sector is coming out of the financial crisis but is still facing a potential worsening of the general economic crisis,’ says Christian Kjaer, CEO of EWEA. ‘The number of banks providing capital for offshore wind farm investments is steadily growing, although there is a continued need for attracting an increasing number of large institutional investors to offshore wind farms – presently the largest construction projects going on in Europe.’
Financial institutions are expected to provide over 3 billion euros to the sector this year. Equity financing, including divestment of stakes in existing projects to initiate new ones, highlights new approaches to financing among developers and power companies following the financial crisis, according to EWEA.