Most of the new offshore wind turbines in 2018 were put into operation by the UK and Germany (their total share in the growth of the WPPs was 85%). The UK has increased the total capacity of its offshore WPPs by 1,312 MW, and Germany – by 969 MW. At the same time, according to the installed capacity of all existing offshore WPPs, these two countries also occupy leading positions: the UK has the largest amount of offshore wind capacity in Europe with 44% of all installations. Germany is second with 34%, followed by Denmark (7%), Belgium (6.4%) and the Netherlands (6%).
The leading position of Great Britain and Germany is illustrated by the location chart of offshore wind farms in Europe by sea. The vast majority of offshore WPPs in Europe are installed in the North Sea: their installed capacity there is 12,938 MW (that is, 70% of all offshore wind capacity in Europe). The Irish and Baltic Seas, as well as the Atlantic Ocean, are far behind.
2018 was also significant in terms of financing offshore wind power projects. After a strong, compared with 2016, fall in the level of investment in the industry in 2017, now the volume of investment in new construction amounted to 10.3 billion euros. Twelve new projects with a total installed capacity of 4.2 GW reached Final Investment Decision (FID) in 2018. These projects will be implemented in the next couple of years.
The year was also marked by technological breakthroughs. In 2018 the average rated capacity of newly installed turbines was 6.8 MW, 15% larger than in 2017. Since 2014 the average rated capacity of newly installed wind turbines has grown at an annual rate of 16%. At the same time, the largest turbine in the world was installed in the United Kingdom in 2018. Two V164-8.8 MW from MHI Vestas Offshore Wind, with a rotor diameter of 164 m, were connected at the European Offshore Wind Development Centre (EOWDC) wind farm.
From the point of view of individual manufacturers of offshore wind energy equipment, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy has achieved great success and supplied 62.2% of all the new capacity in 2018. MHI Vestas Offshore Wind followed with 33.3%. Also for the first time in Europe, GE Renewable Energy connected its Haliade 150-6 MW turbine for the first time in Europe. In 2018, 20 of these turbines were connected at the Merkur offshore wind farm in Germany (another 44 will be connected in 2019).
Creating such reports allows WindEurope to draw the world's attention to offshore wind power, which has enormous potential. The ability to install wind farms in vast marine areas solves the problem of land shortages (which is more important for megalopolises that consume a lot of electricity). The report shows that both the unit capacity of offshore wind farms and the unit installed sea-based turbines increase from year to year
WindEurope fixes impressive synergy results from the merger of Siemens and Gamesa. Notes that it was offshore wind power that allowed the UK to achieve significant success in the development of renewable energy. And much more. The full text of the analytical document WindEurope can be found at: Offshore Wind in Europe: Key Trends and Statistics 2018.