Wind farms totalling 4.9GW to be built off European shores by 2016

15 Jul 2014

Europe is undergoing an offshore wind farm boom, as there are now 16 offshore wind farms under construction with a combined energy capacity of 4.9GW due to be completed by 2016.

The European Energy Wind Association (EWEA) has released a statement documenting that in the first six months of this year, 224 new offshore wind turbines, totalling 781MW, have been connected with the wider European grid. However, this is actually a decrease on the same period in 2013, which saw the generation of the equivalent of 1,045MW.

So far, the UK has been the most proactive in terms of wind turbines built in 2014, with 147 connected to the grid generating 532MW. Belgium follows suit, with 47 turbines generating 141MW.

As of now, the total offshore wind capacity for Europe is 7,343MW in 73 wind farms across 11 countries, capable of producing 27 TWh of electricity, which the EWEA said is enough to meet the needs of more than 7m households.

Speaking of the latest round of 16 farms under construction, Justin Wilkes, deputy chief executive officer of the EWEA, said that while it’s a step in the right direction, what is needed is the creation of a longer-term plan.

“To ensure healthy growth in the latter part of the decade, and to ensure offshore wind energy plays its role in meeting the EU’s competitiveness, security, renewable and climate objectives, the industry must be given longer-term visibility.

“An ambitious deal on the 2030 Climate and Energy package by the EU’s heads of state in October would send the right signal, making their decision particularly important for the offshore wind sector.”

Offshore wind farm image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic