The old continent added 3.6 GW of offshore wind to its energy generation capacity, reaching a new record
The past year confirms that Europe is increasing the offshore wind installations due to the Green Deal compromise. This is something that WindEurope (The European Wind Association) confirms in the last report published this February. This is illustrated by the fact that 10 new offshore farms came online across 5 countries of the old continent.
The UK was the main offshore installer during 2019, reaching 1.7 GW of new capacity and followed by Germany (1.1 GW), Denmark (374 MW), Belgium (370 MW) and Portugal (with 8 MW of floating offshore wind). Adding these new 3.6 GW to its installation capacity, Europe has 22 GW of offshore wind. The UK and Germany account for three-quarters of it. Denmark, Belgium and the Netherlands share nearly all of the rest.
The European Commission says Europe needs between 230 and 450 GW of offshore wind by 2050 to decarbonise the energy system and deliver the Green Deal. This requires Europe to build 7 GW of new offshore wind a year by 2030 and ramp up to 18 GW a year by 2050. But the current level of new installations and investments is a long way behind that.
A competitive energy source
Offshore wind costs continue to fall significantly. Last year’s auctions – in the UK, France and the Netherlands – delivered prices for consumers in the range of €40-50/MWh. This is cheaper than building new gas, coal or nuclear.