Siemens Invests in Offshore Wind Manufacturing in UK

Siemens to Build Major Offshore Wind Manufacturing Site in the UKSiemens will be investing £160 million (EUR190m) in wind turbine production and installation facilities in Yorkshire (UK). The facility will be spread across two sites including the Green Port Hull project construction, assembly and service facility and a new rotor blade manufacturing facility in nearby Paull, in East Riding. Siemens’ port partner Associated British Ports (ABP) is investing a further £150 million in the Green Port Hull development. The investment will provide a huge boost to the UK’s offshore wind industry and the Humber region.

“This is a massive vote of confidence in our long-term economic plan,” said Prime Minister David Cameron. This investment is going to create lots of new jobs and opportunities, meaning more financial security and peace of mind for families and a more resilient economy for our country.”

The Green Port Hull project has been in development for nearly four years and is the product of an effort between many national and local political, business and community parties and many people within Siemens in the UK, Denmark and Germany, and ABP. The investment is a landmark moment for the UK offshore wind industry. It is the first manufacturing plant of its kind for Siemens next generation blade technology (IntegralBlade) designed for Siemens SWT-6.0-154 6 megawatt (MW) wind turbine. Each rotor blade is 75 meters long and when rotating covers an area the size of two and a half football pitches.

“Our decision to construct a production facility for offshore wind turbines in England is part Siemens to Build Major Offshore Wind Manufacturing Site in the UKof our global strategy: we invest in markets with reliable conditions that can ensure that factories can work to capacity,” said Michael Suess, member of the managing board of Siemens AG and CEO of the Energy Sector. “The British energy policy creates a favourable framework for the expansion of offshore wind energy. In particular, it recognizes the potential of offshore wind energy within the overall portfolio of energy production.”

Suess continued, “The offshore wind market in Great Britain has high growth rates, with an even greater potential for the future. Wind power capacity has doubled here within two years, to roughly 10 gigawatts. By 2020, a capacity of 14 gigawatts is to be installed at sea alone to combine the country’s environmental objectives with secure power supply. Projects for just over 40 gigawatts are currently in the long-term planning.”

Green Port Hull is planned to be operational to meet Round 3 requirements in early 2016. The start of production at the blade factory is scheduled to be in the middle of 2016 with full production levels reached from mid 2017 onwards.

Maryland Offers $70K for Offshore Wind Development

Maryland state flagThe Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) has launched a grant program to support the development of offshore wind energy. The Market Entry Assistance Grant Program is the first program born of the Offshore Wind Business Development Fund. The fund is designed to help Maryland businesses become participants in the state’s offshore wind industry. MEA will issue grants to support the immediate rollout of emerging businesses’ products and services throughout the state. The grants will also facilitate development of business opportunities within the offshore wind sector.

According to Abigail Ross Hopper, director of MEA, “This ground-breaking program is the result of the Business Development Fund’s Advisory Committee’s recommendations which will aid in job creation and provide greater opportunities throughout the State for emerging businesses, including minority owned emerging businesses.”

Maryland emerging businesses who are ready to supply products and services in the offshore wind market can apply for grant funds. The monies are designed to reduce the costs associated with establishing commercial offshore wind sector exports. The program will provide two types of grant assistance: Administrative Costs Grants will be available to cover up to $25,000 for organizational needs; and Capital Equipment and Facility Upgrades Grants for amounts up to $500,000 will offer financial support for significant equipment investments.

“It is important that we support innovative Maryland businesses that seek a dominant position in the offshore wind supply chain with products that challenge the established European market,” added Hopper. “It is our hope that with MEA’s help these burgeoning companies will develop competencies and become invaluable assets to Maryland’s clean energy economy and the global offshore wind supply chain.”

West Coast Offshore Wind Project Moves Ahead

The first offshore wind project proposed for federal waters off the West Coast has just taken a big step forward. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell joined by Governor John Kitzhaber and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Director Tommy P. Beaudreau, announced that BOEM has given the green light for Principle Power, Inc. to submit a formal plan to build a 30 megawatt offshore wind pilot project using floating wind off the coast of Coos Bay, Oregon.

City of Coos Bay Oregon“Today’s announcement is consistent with President Obama’s commitment to take actions that will create jobs and develop clean, domestic energy that powers our economy,” said Jewell. “This pioneering project would demonstrate floating wind turbine technology capable of tapping the rich wind energy resources in deep waters offshore Oregon. As we look to broaden our nation’s energy portfolio, the innovative technology and its future application hold great promise along the West Coast and Hawaii.”

According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the West Coast holds an offshore wind capability of more than 800 gigwatts of wind energy potential. This is equal to more than three quarters of the country’s entire power generation capacity. In addition, total U.S. deepwater wind energy resource potential is estimated to be nearly 2,000 gigawatts.

“Today marks a milestone in ocean renewable energy, and also the next big leap for cutting-edge innovation necessary to meet our energy and carbon reduction goals,” said Governor Kitzhaber. “These critical partnerships with our federal, regional, tribal, and local partners are advancing an energy future that supports a healthy economy and good jobs while strengthening Oregon’s legacy of environmental stewardship.”

BOEM has issued two non-competitive leases (Cape Wind in Nantucket Sound and an area off Delaware) and three competitive leases (two offshore Massachusetts-Rhode Island and another offshore Virginia). The competitive lease sales generated about $5.4 million in high bids for about 277,550 acres on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf. Additional competitive auctions for wind energy areas offshore Maryland, New Jersey and Massachusetts are expected in 2014.

Deepwater Wind Selects Alstom Technology

Alstom has announced a contract to supply 5 Haliade 150-6 megawatt (MW) offshore wind turbines for Deepwater Wind’s 30-MW Block Island pilot Wind Farm located off the coast of Rhode Island. The project will be one of the first offshore wind farms in the U.S. and will be the first to feature Alstom’s Haliade 150-6 MW –the largest turbine installed in offshore waters today. The five turbines will produce approximately 125,000 MWh of electricity a year, enough to power over 17,000 homes.

The company will manufacture the Haliade 150-6 MW direct drive wind turbines and provide 15 years of operation and maintenance support for the Block Island Wind Farm owned and ALSTOM HALIADEoperated by Deepwater Wind. The company says its Haliade 150-6 MW wind turbine features Alstom’s Pure Torque design for optimum efficiency and reliability and its 150-meter diameter rotor provides an energy yield that is 15% better than existing offshore turbines.

“Our contract with Deepwater Wind further demonstrates our commitment to the expanding U.S. wind market,” said Andy Geissbuelher, Head of Alstom’s North American Wind Business. “Drawing on the experience and knowledge gained from our collaboration with Dominion Virginia Power, we are driving the technology innovation needed to make offshore generation a strategic part of the energy mix.”

The Block Island project is aligned with The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s “Smart from the Start” offshore wind program, which aims to accelerate the development of clean, renewable offshore wind along the eastern seaboard of the U.S. The project could lead to a larger utility-scale offshore wind farm of more than 1 gigawatt supported by a regional transmission system linking Long Island, New York and South-eastern New England.

In late 2013, Alstom successfully installed its 6MW Haliade, which at the time was world’s largest offshore wind turbine, off the coast of Belgium. Alstom is part of a consortium led by EDF Energies Nouvelles that was awarded three projects in the first tender launched by the French government to install offshore wind turbines generating 3 GWs of wind power off the coast of France. The successful bid included a total of 240 Haliade 150-6 MW turbines.

Despite Record Offshore Wind Projects, Industry Slows

Despite record offshore wind energy projects coming online in 2013, a recent report shows that new projects have slowed. Last year, 418 offshore turbines came online in Europe making a record 1,567 Megawatts (MW) of new capacity. This is one-third more than the capacity installed in 2012.

This makes a new total of 6,562 MW of offshore wind power – enough to provide 0.7 percent of the EU’s electricity.

European Offshore Wind in 2013However, the report finds that when taking a closer look at what happened, there was a slow-down during the year: two-thirds of the new capacity came online in the first six months. With 11 projects now under construction, down from 14 this time last year, market and regulatory stability is critical to bringing forward the 22,000 MW of consented projects across Europe.

“The unclear political support for offshore wind energy – especially in key offshore wind markets like the UK and Germany – has led to delays to planned projects and fewer new projects being launched,” said Justin Wilkes, Deputy CEO at the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA). “This means installations are likely to plateau until 2015, followed by a decline as from 2016.”

Wilkes added, “An ambitious decision on a 2030 renewable energy target by the Heads of State in March would be the right signal to send to the offshore wind sector that Europe will develop its massive offshore wind potential for green growth, jobs, industrialisation, technological leadership and CO2 reductions.”

In 2013 Siemens was the leading turbine supplier (69%), DONG Energy the leading developer (48%), and Bladt the leading substructure supplier (37%), as they were in 2012.

Cape Wind Wins Again

Cape Wind has again defeated the efforts of its opponents to block the country’s first offshore wind farm. In a historic decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld the FAA’s approval of the Cape Wind project, rejecting every argument that had been advanced by the project’s opponents.

home_page_image_Eco_Tour(1)“The Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound, the Town of Barnstable and their financial backer-coal billionaire Bill Koch– have failed yet again in their continuing campaign to use the courts to delay the financing of Cape Wind,” said Cape Wind Communications Director Mark Rodgers. “The court’s definitive decision is an important legal victory that brings America that much closer to launching its offshore wind industry, a keystone in America’s renewable energy future.”

This decision takes on even greater importance because this was the same court that had previously provided project opponents their sole and temporary relief, opponents have lost all 12 legal decisions in other courts.

On October 28, 2011 this Court had remanded the FAA’s third Determination of No Hazard back to the FAA to better explain the rationale for its decision. On February 9, 2012, the FAA issued a Public Notice of its reinstated project review, indicating its conclusion that “None of the turbines would have an adverse effect on the use of air navigation facilities or navigable airspace.”

On August 15, 2012 the FAA issued its 4th DNH which project opponents challenged, the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound pronounced confidence their challenge would be successful. However, this is the case decided again in favor of the FAA and Cape Wind.

EU Guidelines Undermine Renewable Energy

The European Commission proposes putting an end to differentiated support for renewable technologies such as onshore and offshore wind in its consultation of draft State aid guidelines for energy and the environment published this week according to the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA). This would effectively stop Member States from determining their own energy mix – a fundamental principle of EU energy policy says EWEA.

AREVA OFFSHORE MASTS“These guidelines, if adopted in their present form, endanger Member States’ ability to meet their 2020 renewable energy targets cost effectively,” said Pierre Tardieu from the EWEA. “Moreover, following the destabilising regulatory changes for renewable energy in many countries, requiring further fundamental changes to support mechanisms would cause major investor uncertainty.” The organization has drafted its own brief related to the EU’s proposed guidelines.

EWEA is calling for Member States and stakeholders to speak out to ensure the guidelines do not put at risk their path to the 2020 targets when they take part in the consultation on the proposal that has been launched. The guidelines are expected to enter into force on 1 July 2014.

Separately, the European Commission has announced investigations into the German renewable energy support mechanism, the EEG, and the UK’s measures offering generous support to nuclear energy.

“The EEG investigation risks undermining the wind industry in Germany by destabilising investors, and putting at risk the jobs, energy security and industrial leadership brought by wind and other renewables,” said Tardieu. “The Commission needs to carry out this investigation as rapidly and with as little disruption as possible.”

“The UK nuclear investigation is welcome, since the proposed 35-year subsidy would wreck efforts for a single European electricity market until after the year 2058 – over 100 years after the first commercial nuclear power plant was installed at Sellafield/Windscale in the UK,” Tardieu concluded.

China’s Offshore Wind Power Industry on Track

During the 18th Congress of Chinese Communist Party meeting, a call was made to create a “Biological Civilization” strategy that would encompass a plan for more use of green energy including offshore wind. On June 4-6, 2014 Offshore Wind China 2014, Wind Farm O&A China 2014 and Distributed Generation China 2014 are simultaneously taking place at the Shanghai New International Expo Center and Shangri-La’s Kerry Hotel Pudong.

Optimale Bedingungen / Ideal conditionsThe organizers of the June events include Chinese Renewable Energy Industries Association, Chinese Renewable Energy Industries Committee, China National Renewable Energy Centre and Shanghai International Exhibition Co., Ltd. The groups have announced they will focus on the seven topics for the conferences in an effort to move the offshore wind industry and green energy industries forward.

1. Experience Wind Power Industry’s Turn-around through Release of Latest Progress on Offshore Wind Projects. Offshore wind power developers along with planning and design organizations will be invited to deliver speeches on progress of offshore wind power projects.

2. Catch New Industry Trends by Bringing together Leading Wind Turbine Manufacturers. Key offshore wind turbines manufacturers, including Vestas / Mitsubishi, Goldwind, Gamesa, United Power, Sinovel, Shanghai Electrics / Siemens and Ming Yang will gather to present the advanced offshore wind technologies.

3. Capture Future Market Opportunities in Sector of Wind Farm Operation and Maintenance. The event features Wind Farm O&M Market to explore life-cycle management and after-sales services of onshore and offshore wind farms.

4. Provide Full-range Solutions with Focus on Offshore Installation and Construction. With a focus on offshore installations and construction, leading offshore installation companies including CCCC Third, ZPMC, Jiangsu Longyuan Zhenhua, CCCC Fourth will gather at this event to showcase installation equipments and share practical experiences.

5. Join Hands with Leading Wind Power Nations to Share in Advanced Experience. Attendees will meet with associations and delegations from developed countries including U.K., Netherlands, Denmark, Germany and U.S. to have exchanges with overseas firms.

6. Improve Trade Mechanism by Expanding On-site Communications and Negotiations. The event will further enhance the trade mechanism to hold “On-Site Match-making Meetings between Turbine Manufacturers and Components Suppliers”.

7. Witness Offshore Mega Project by Visiting Offshore Wind Farm under Construction. Attendees will have opportunity to visit East Sea Bridge Offshore Wind Farm (Phase II) during its construction stage, and the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone, the first of its kind in China.

Staggering Wind Turbines Produces More Energy

According to the University of Delaware’s Cristina Archer and her Atmosphere and Energy Research Group, staggering and spacing out turbines in an offshore wind farm can improve performance by as much as 33 percent. The findings, which appeared in Geophysical Research Letters, could help engineers plan improved offshore wind farms.

“Staggering every other row was amazingly efficient,” said Archer, associate professor of physical ocean science and engineering and geography in UD’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment.

Sund_mpazdzioraThe researchers used an existing offshore wind farm near Sweden as the basis for their study, comparing the existing tightly packed, grid-like layout to six alternative configurations. In some, they kept the turbines in neat rows but spaced them farther apart. In others, they shifted the alignment of every other row, similar to how rows of theatre seats are staggered to improve the views of people further back.

In computer-intensive simulations that each took weeks to run, the team took into account the eddies, or swirls of choppy air, that wind turbines create downwind as their blades spin — and how that air movement would impact surrounding turbines.

They found that the most efficient arrangement was a combination of two approaches. By both spacing the turbines farther apart and staggering the rows, the improved layout would decrease losses caused by eddies and improve overall performance by a third.

The optimal configuration had the rows oriented to face the prevailing wind direction, for example from the southwest in the summer along the U.S. East Coast. Most locations, however, have more than one dominant direction from where wind blows throughout the year. The optimal configuration for a season may not be optimal in another season, when the prevailing wind changes direction and intensity.

Considering these various factors could better inform where and how to configure future offshore wind farms, Archer explained. “We want to explore all these trade-offs systematically, one by one,” she said.

The study is part of Archer’s overall research focus on wind and applications for renewable energy production. Trained in both meteorology and engineering, she uses weather data and complex calculations to estimate the potential for wind as a power source.

S.C. Opens Largest Wind Energy Testing Facilities

wind_testing_cert-1The U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman recently joined with officials from Clemson University to dedicate the nation’s largest and one of the world’s most advanced wind energy testing facilities in North Charleston, S.C. Led by Clemson University’s Restoration Institute, the facility will help test and validate new turbines, particularly for offshore wind – helping to speed deployment of next generation energy technology, reduce costs for manufacturers and boost global competitiveness for American companies.

“Developing America’s vast renewable energy resources is an important part of the Energy Department’s all-of-the-above strategy to pave the way to a cleaner, more sustainable energy future,” said Deputy Secretary Poneman. “The Clemson testing facility represents a critical investment to ensure America leads in this fast-growing global industry – helping to make sure the best, most efficient wind energy technologies are developed and manufactured in the United States.”

Congressman Jim Clyburn said, “This facility is about job creation, sustainable growth and energy independence, while building the infrastructure to power America’s economic growth and prosperity for years to come. I applaud Clemson University for their leadership in bringing this cutting edge research to South Carolina and North Charleston. Wind energy represented over 40% of new electricity production in the United States in 2012, but there is still tremendous amount of untapped potential for this technology. I look forward to this industry creating jobs while providing clean renewable energy.”

Located at a former Navy warehouse with easy access to rail and water transport, the Clemson facility will test machinery that converts both onshore and offshore wind to electricity and allow engineers to simulate 20 years’ worth of wear and tear on drivetrains in a few months. The facility’s proximity to the coast also makes it ideal for U.S. and international companies to testing larger offshore wind turbines.

Supported by a $47 million Energy Department investment as well as about $60 million in outside funding, the facility is equipped with two testing bays – for up to 7.5-megawatt  and 15-megawatt drivetrains, respectively. The facility will also feature a gridwind_testing_cert-2 simulator that mimics real-world conditions and can help private industry and public researchers better study interactions between wind energy technologies and the U.S. power grid.

Over the past four years, the Energy Department has made significant investments in our nation’s wind turbine testing capabilities, including the Scaled Wind Farm Technology facility in Lubbock, Texas, to help optimize whole wind farms’ performance and power production as well as the United States’ first commercial large-blade test facility in Boston Harbor.

These efforts build off the Department’s National Wind Technology Center in Boulder, Colo., which has helped drive new wind technology development since 1993. This past week, the Department dedicated a new five-megawatt dynamometer at the center to further strengthen its capabilities and conduct research on stronger, more durable wind drivetrains for land-based wind farms. Connected to a grid simulator as well as operating multi-megawatt turbines at the center, the new installation will also help study grid interactions and test energy storage devices simultaneously.

Natural Power Expands Operations

Natural Power The Green HouseRt Hon Ed Davey, Secretary of State for Energy & Climate Change, recently opened Natural Power’s newly expanded ControlCentre at their global headquarters, The Green House, located in the foothills of Rhinns of Kells in rural Dumfries and Galloway.

The company’s NP/ControlCentre (previously known as WindCentre) is a 24/7/365 operational control room, providing site management services round the clock for a range of renewable sectors including onshore and offshore wind, biomass and solar PV projects. Manned by experienced engineers, the 24 hour control room service is facilitated by a software solution for health & safety management, work order recording and access control – all in line with industry best practice, such as the RenewableUK Wind Turbine Safety Rules.

Energy Secretary Ed Davey said during the event, “It’s great to see first-hand the work carried out at Natural Power’s ControlCentre. This shows the vital role renewables play in our energy mix and their contribution to our energy security. The Centre has already helped over 100 clients improve the efficiency of their wind turbines, increasing the amount of renewable electricity provided to the grid.

20130905-NaturalPower-5928The company’s Asset Management team currently manages 139 wind farms globally, including 14 sites in Ireland, representing 1,360 turbines. The company is also breaking into the U.S. market and is already providing services to a number of operational wind farms. This represents operational management of 37 percent and 20 percent of the UK’s and Irish installed onshore capacity respectively.

Commenting on the company’s acheivements, Natural Power’s Director of Asset Management, Andy Howie, said: “It is a great achievement to be in a position to double the size of NP /ControlCentre, and to know it has become the heart of one third of all operational sites in the UK.  As the sector continues to grow our focus remains on achieving the highest safety standards on site for all. We are extremely proud, at Natural Power, to be chosen as the No. 1 provider of Asset Management services in the UK.”

Davey also noted that is he “delighted” that Natural Power has chosen to expand the Centre’s services to solar and bioenergy sectors in the UK. “The UK has some of the best renewables in Europe,” said Davey, “and if we are to meet our carbon reduction and renewable targets, it is vital that we make the most of this potential.”

“I wish Natural Power every success with their endeavours,” added Davey.

Natural Power Wins Award & New Contract

Natural Power has been in the news lately with several announcements. The company has been recognized by The Green Organisation, with its Green Apple award, for its overall environmental performance.

London Array Offshore & Final turbine assembly 104In addition, the company has been appointed by First Flight Wind Ltd, the developers of Northern Ireland’s first offshore wind farm, to provide bird and marine mammal advisory and survey works over the Wind Resource Zone. Flight Wind, a consortium comprising of B9 Energy, DONG Energy and Renewable Energy Systems Ltd (RES), was awarded a Wind Resource Zone of approximately 438km² off the Coast of County Down, Northern Ireland, by The Crown Estate in Autumn 2012.

Starting in July 2013, Natural Power’s experienced Ecology team commissioned a local Kilkeel vessel, to carry out the surveys, which are expected to last until late 2014. The boat-based surveys will see ornithologists and marine mammal observers undertaking surveys each month to collect data suitable for analysis and impact assessment.

In other news, Natural Power announced plans to open a new office in Stirling, Scotland this fall. The office is expected to be the single largest renewable energy consultancy office in Scotland, with capacity for 140 staff. Around 90 staff will transfer from the company’s current central belt locations, leading to significant job creation opportunities over the next 24 months.

1st Offshore Wind Lease Sale in U.S.

Today the United States Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) held its first-ever offshore wind lease sale, leasing 164,750 acres off the coasts of Rhode Island and Massachusetts. The area was divided into two leases, the North Lease Area, which consists of about 97,500 acres, and the South Lease Area, covering approximately 67,250 acres.

Oceana, an international advocacy group protecting oceans, celebrated the sale. “Today is a historic day for the United States and its offshore wind industry. For more than 20 years, we have watched as Europe developed and benefited from offshore wind power. It is high time for the U.S. to take advantage of this unlimited resource that can help solve our Offshore wind energy platformclimate and energy challenges,” said deputy vice president for U.S. campaigns Jacqueline Savitz.

She continued, “Today’s lease sale takes a critical step toward building offshore wind in U.S. waters. These companies understand the massive clean energy and job-creating potential that offshore wind provides. They should be commended for their efforts to transition America off of fossil fuels and toward a clean energy future.”

“However, in order to continue the advancement of the U.S. offshore wind industry,” stressed Savitz, “we will need a long-term extension of the Investment Tax Credit (ITC). The ITC is necessary to stimulate investment in offshore wind, and extending it will further demonstrate that the U.S. stands strong in its commitment to this renewable energy source. We urge Congress to provide a long-term extension of the ITC for offshore wind so that we can finally begin to reap all of the environmental and economic benefits of this domestic clean energy supply.”

Deep Water Wind Turbines Hold Energy Key

According to a new report from the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA), “Deep Water, the next step for offshore energy,” deep water wind turbines are key to unlocking the massive energy potential in Europe’s Atlantic and Mediterranean seas and the deepest parts of the North Sea.

The report finds that floating turbines in North Sea deep waters alone could power Europe four times over. Offshore wind in Europe could be providing 145 million households with renewable electricity and employing 318,000 people by 2030, while providing energy security, technology exports, and no greenhouse gases.

EWEA Deep Water Report“To allow this sector to realise its potential and deliver major benefits for Europe, a clear and stable legislative framework for after 2020 – based on a binding 2030 renewable energy target – is vital. This must be backed by an industrial strategy for offshore wind including support for R&D,” said Jacopo Moccia, Head of Policy Analysis at EWEA.

The report found that floating turbine designs are cost-competitive with fixed-bottom designs in waters over 50 metres deep and if challenges are successfully met, the first full-scale deep offshore wind farms could be producing power by 2017 up from the up from the two floating turbines currently supplying electricity from European waters.

EU Offshore Wind Has Good 2012

Cumulative_and_annual_offshore_wind_installations_1993-2012_by_MWDuring 2012, Europe installed and grid connected 239 offshore wind turbines – more than on per working day. There are now a total of 2,662 turbines in 61 offshore wind farms in 10 European countries. The 293 turbines installed in 2012 represent 1,165 Megawatts (MW), an increase of 33 percent compared to 2011 installations of 874 MW. This brings total offshore wind energy capacity to 4,995 MW.

Heading in 2013, EK remains the leader with nearly 60 percent of Europe’s offshore capacity, followed by Denmark (18%), Belgium (8%) and Germany (6%).

Offshore wind power is growing solidly,” said European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) Policy Director Justin Wilkes. “But solid installation figures do not alter the fact that the wind industry is being hit by political and regulatory instability, the economic crisis, the higher cost of capital and austerity. Europe is a world leader in offshore wind energy and could be creating even more jobs if governments gave greater policy certainty to investors, and resolved grid connection problems.”

The turbines installed in 2012 represent investments of around 4 billion Euros in offshore wind farms. Offshore prospects for 2013 and 2014 are positive with 14 offshore projects under construction, due to increase installed capacity by a further 3,300 MW, and bring total offshore capacity in Europe to 8,300 MW.