More new offshore wind generation capacity has been installed in European countries over the first six months of 2015 than in any other previous year.
A total of 2,342.9MW worth of new wind turbines was connected to the grid by mid-2015 – three times as much as during the same period last year.
"It has taken the offshore wind industry just six months to set the best year the sector has ever seen in terms of installed capacity,” said Kristian Ruby, chief policy officer at the European Wind Energy Association. “While this clearly shows a commitment to offshore wind development in Europe, a number of completed projects, explosive growth in Germany and the use of higher capacity wind turbines are major contributors to these numbers."
Overall 584 new wind turbines have been connected to the grid in the first half of 2015. While in 2014 an averageturbine was capable of generating 3.5MW, the newer machines installed this year produce on average 4.2MW
Thanks to the recent contributions, total installed offshore wind capacity in Europe hit 10,393.6MW. That includes 82 offshore wind farms in 11 European countries.
"To ensure healthy growth in the coming years, and to guarantee offshore wind energy plays its role in meeting the EU's competitiveness, security and decarbonisation objectives, the industry needs long-term visibility,” said Ruby. “Strong reforms to the operation of Europe's electricity market and much-needed upgrades to infrastructure to help the integration of wind energy must be a priority. It is also critical that Member States meet renewable energy commitments toward the end of this decade and set out a clear game plan to meet Europe's 2030 targets."
The European Wind Energy Association added it expects slower growth in the next 12-18 months.