European offshore wind growth slowed in 2014

The European offshore wind industry saw a 5 per cent decline in new capacity installations in 2014 after record figures the previous year, an energy association says.

A total of 408 new offshore wind turbines were fully grid connected, adding 1,483 MW to the European capacity, 84MW (5.34 per cent) less than the previous year, according to the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA).

However, Justin Wilkes, EWEA’s deputy chief executive, said the decline in numbers was a “levelling-off of installations” in 2014.

“The industry has seen exponential growth in the early part of this decade and this is a natural stabilising of that progress,” Wilkes said.

A total of 536 turbines were erected during 2014, an average of 5.9 MW per day, while 373 turbines are awaiting grid connection.

In 2014, the UK accounted for over half of all new installations (54.8 per cent) with Germany in second (35.7 per cent) and Belgium (9.5 per cent) making up the rest.

However, the market outlook for 2015 has shown that Germany is expected to install more offshore capacity than the UK, which has dominated installations in Europe for the past three years.

"Germany is set to buck the trend this year. The UK has more installed offshore capacity than the rest of the world combined but this year shows that other countries in the EU are making serious investments in the sector”, added Wilkes.

The total installed capacity for Europe is now 8,045MW in 74 offshore wind farms in 11 European countries.

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