In 2009, a total of eight new wind farms consisting of 199 offshore wind turbines, with a combined power generating capacity of 577 MW, were connected to the grid in Europe, according to a report issued by the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA). This represents a growth rate of 54% compared to the 373 MW installed during 2008.
For 2010, EWEA expects the completion of 10 additional European offshore wind farms, adding 1,000 MW and equivalent to market growth of 75% compared to 2009.
‘For the offshore wind power industry to continue its development, it is vital that governments and the European Commission provide policy frameworks that stimulate investor interest and allow project developers to move their plans forward,’ says Christian Kjaer, chief executive of EWEA.
Currently, 17 offshore wind farms are under construction in Europe, totaling more than 3,500 MW, with just under half being constructed in U.K. waters. An additional 52 offshore wind farms have won full consent for construction in European waters, totaling more than 16,000 MW, with just over half of this capacity planned in Germany.
In 2009, the turnover of the offshore wind industry was approximately 1.5 billion euros, and EWEA expects this to double in 2010 to approximately 3 billion euros.
SOURCE: European Wind Energy Association