Over the past year a total of EUR 43 billion were invested in wind power in Europe, which is 22% more when compared to 2015, when the volume of investments amounted to EUR 35 billion. The funds were applied towards the construction of wind farms, the provision of a feed-in tariff and the preparation of prospective projects.
The volume of financing in wind power projects reached EUR 27.6 billion in 2016, of which record EUR 18.2 billion were invested in offshore wind power. Investments in onshore wind power, on the contrary, decreased by 5% and amounted to EUR 9.4 billion, which was the first decrease over the last 5 years.
The market leader is the UK wherein a total amount of invited investments for greenfield projects (both in offshore and onshore wind power) amounted to EUR 12.7 billion. Germany is second best with the amount of investments of EUR 5.3 billion.
Experts are concerned that 80% of investments came from only four countries: the UK, Germany, Belgium and Norway, and 14 European Union countries did not show any investment activity at all in 2016. Currently only 7 EU member states have a clear policy for renewable energy development after 2020. For this reason, investors are not capable of planning long-term financing of the industry. The National Energy and Climate Action Plans required under the Clean Energy Package (until January 1, 2019) will be of crucial importance for the support of investments.
Besides, the high level of investments in the wind power industry last year was also due to large initial public offerings (IPOs), in particular by companies DONG Energy, Innogy и Senvion. The total volume of funds raised from IPO amounted to EUR 5.2 billion, which is the highest figure in the last 7 years.
Some experts expect an insignificant reduction of investment quote in 2017, without seeing the prerequisites for further growth. This is explained by the change of enabling mechanisms with the transition from special tariffs to auctions. Some time must pass after the first international tenders so that investors can evaluate the prospects of projects and take new investment decisions.
It is also worthy of note that Norway made a significant step in the transition from oil and gas supply to renewable energy in 2016: a final decision was made to attract investments in the construction of Europe's largest (ground) wind farm - Fosen onshore wind farm - with a gross installed capacity of 1.0 GW.
It is necessary to point out that specific capital costs in the wind power industry continue to decline. All that makes it possible to put into operation the same volume of capacity with less costs.
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