Despite COVID-19 constraints, Europe raised EUR 26.3 billion in 2020 to finance 7.1 GW of new offshore wind capacity.
The United Kingdom, Netherlands, Germany, and France all saw final investment decisions for major new offshore wind farms, according to the latest WindEurope data.
This is another great result for the wind industry, as European countries also ordered 15 GW of wind turbines last year, an increase of 74% against 2019.
Europe built 2.9 GW of new offshore wind in 2020, reaching 25 GW of total installed capacity. The European Union aims to have 300 GW of offshore wind by 2050.
WinEurope expects the number of people working in offshore wind in EU today to increase four times by 2030
“EUR 26 billion in new investments in 2020 is a huge vote of confidence in offshore wind. Investors see that offshore wind is cheap, reliable, and resilient – and that governments want more of it. And these investments will create jobs and growth. Every new offshore wind turbine generates EUR 15 million of economic activity. We expect the 77,000 people working in offshore wind today in Europe to be 200,000 by 2030”, says Giles Dickson, WindEurope CEO.
Floating offshore wind will help the buildout in the Atlantic, Mediterranean and the Black Sea
About 40% of the existing offshore wind farms are in the UK. However, new players are entering the scene.
“Offshore wind is no longer just about the North Sea. It’s rapidly becoming a pan-European affair. More and more countries are making commitments on it. Poland, Spain, Greece, Ireland, the three Baltic States all have plans. And the rapid advance of floating offshore wind will help the buildout in the Atlantic, Mediterranean and the Black Sea”, Dickson asserted.
Six major PPAs from offshore wind were signed in 2020
Six major power purchase agreements (PPAs) from offshore wind were signed last year. New deals came from different sectors of the industry and included large corporate offtakers Nestle, Amazon, Deutsche Bahn, Borealis and Ineos.
According to WindEurope, the EU Offshore Renewable Energy Strategy (ORES), which the European Commission tabled last year, was a milestone.