Europe Reaches New Heights of Offshore Wind Capacity

A report this week shows Europe has installed 2100MW of offshore wind in the first half of 2023. This brings its total capacity so far to 32GW.

The majority of its wind capacity is in the Netherlands, with just over 50% being situated there. The UK, Germany and Norway is home to most of the rest, according to statistics from WindEurope. They also found that a further 5GW is still in production after project delays in 2022.

Despite this, Europe is still not on target for its wind power goals. According to WindEurope, a total of 11GW per year is needed to be produced between now and 2030. They have claimed that regulations around permits and market design need to be restructured on the continent in order to make wind power investments viable for businesses.

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WindEurope have identified other issues with development plans, such as European governments stance on cost indexation and capped negative bidding, both factors which hinder wind farm auctions. Additionally, the costs for wind turbines have increased over the years, up to 40% since 2021. This rise in costs will cause governments to lose projects and funding. It cited Vattenfall’s decision to stop the Boreas offshore wind project in the UK as evidence of this.

WindEurope said: “Governments mustn’t fall for the temptation of uncapped negative bidding – requiring developers to pay however much they can for the privilege of building an offshore wind farm. Of the 12GW offshore wind awarded in actions so far this year, 60% has been awarded with uncapped negative bidding. But the amounts developers are offering to pay are huge – over €1.5bn per GW in Germany.”

Aside from these comments, the trade body also noted that in 2022 there wasn’t a single new investment for large-scale offshore in Europe. This is due to final investment decisions being delayed due to inflation – investors were put off by government interventions in electricity markets.

Looking to the future, there are improvements planned. There are six projects in the pipeline for 2023, with investment deals of up to 1.5BN Euros and 5GW of new wind capacity.