The UK built more offshore wind farms than any other European country in 2017
The UK generated more new offshore wind energy than any other country in Europe last year, installing 1.7 GW worth of new wind farms, according to new stats from industry group WindEurope. Germany was only a short way behind in terms of new energy generated from offshore wind farms, adding an impressive 1.3 GW.
These figures contributed to a record-breaking year for offshore wind in Europe, with a total growth of 3.1GW taking the total output 15.8 GW – a 25% per cent increase.
The impressive increase in total energy output can be attributed to 13 new offshore wind farms, including the world’s first floating wind farm at Hywind Scotland. As highlighted by the figures above, these wind farms were mostly installed in the UK and Germany – in fact, if you do the maths, you’ll realise that a whopping 3GW of the 3.1GW of new wind energy came from these two countries.
There are another 11 offshore wind farms currently under construction in the UK and Germany, which will add another 2.9 GW, so WindEurope hopes to see a total power output of 25GW from all wind farms in Europe by 2020.
This will certainly help the UK in taking a step towards reaching its target of 15% of energy coming from renewables by 2020, although it still has some way to go.
Currently, 98% of offshore wind energy is generated in the UK, Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands and Belgium, but Bloomberg reports that construction of new wind farms in France is expected to “ramp up” from 2020. By 2022 it could overtake the UK and Germany in terms of new wind turbine installations, helping to make it the fourth-biggest offshore wind generator by 2030.
Commenting on the growth of wind energy, Giles Dickson, WindEurope CEO, said: “A 25% increase in one year is spectacular. Offshore wind is now a mainstream part of the power system. And the costs have fallen rapidly.”
“Investing in offshore wind today costs no more than in conventional power generation. It just shows Europe’s ready to embrace a much higher renewables target for 2030. 35% is easily achievable. Not least now that floating offshore wind farms are also coming on line.”