The combined installations of new onshore and offshore wind capacity in Europe in the first half of 2019 were at 4.9 GW, which was up on the same period last year (4.5 GW), though onshore installations were down due to serious issues in Germany, according to a press release from wind power association WindEurope.
Europe installed 2.9 GW of onshore wind in the first half of the year, which was down compared to the 3.3 GW installed in the same period last year.
Installations were particularly poor in Germany, which had its worst first half of the year since 2000. Permitting challenges remain the key bottleneck: 11 GW of onshore wind are stuck in the permitting process in Germany, said WindEurope Chief Policy Officer Pierre Tardieu.
The industry expects installations to pick up in the second half of the year, but German grid connected volumes for 2019 as a whole will be lower than historical levels, WindEurope said.
Of all European countries, France had the most onshore installations in H1 with 523 MW.
Turkey was the top-ranked South-East European (SEE) country, 6th, with 229 MW. Greece was 7th with 201 MW, Bosnia and Herzegovina 15th with 36 MW, and Croatia 16th with 10 MW.
6 – Turkey 229 MW
7 – Greece 201 MW
15 – Bosnia and Herzegovina 36 MW
16 – Croatia 10 MW
Onshore wind installations are typically stronger in the second half of the year. This tendency is particularly pronounced in Nordic countries where installation activity is strongest in summer months.
“Turbine orders and market activity suggest we will see significant volumes grid connected in Sweden and Norway in the second semester. Large volumes are also expected in Spain on the back of the 4.1 GW auctioned in 2017 and 2018,” according to the press release.
New offshore wind installations up in H1
A total of 1.9 GW of new offshore wind was installed in the first half of the year, up from the 1.1 GW added in the same period in 2018. The UK (931 MW), Denmark (374 MW), Belgium (370 MW) and Germany (252 MW) accounted for these installations. This includes Hornsea 1 in the UK which, when completed, will be the world’s largest wind farm with 1.2 GW.
In the first half of 2019 Europe invested EUR 8.8 billion in the construction of future wind farms, EUR 6.4 billion in onshore wind and EUR 2.4 billion in offshore wind.
These investments will result in 5.9 GW being installed and grid connected over the next two to three years. France and the Netherlands led investments, WindEurope said.