Europe records 34% increase in offshore wind grid connection in 2013: EWEA

28 January 2014 (Last Updated January 28th, 2014 18:30)

Europe has recorded a one-third increase in offshore wind grid connection totalling 1,567MW in 2013 when compared to 2012, according to The European Wind Energy Association (EWEA).

Ofshore Wind

Europe has recorded a one-third increase in offshore wind grid connection totalling 1,567MW in 2013 when compared to 2012, according to The European Wind Energy Association (EWEA).

Of the total new capacity added in 2013, 733MW or 47% was installed in the UK, which is significantly less than in 2012 (73%), followed by Denmark (350MW or 22%), Germany (240MW, 15%) and Belgium (192MW, 12%).

The year 2013 saw the installation of 522 new offshore wind turbines, of which 418 in 13 wind farms have been grid connected, while the remainder are awaiting grid connection.

However, EWEA reported two thirds of that capacity came online in the first half of the year and has cautioned that the European offshore market is in a period of slowdown in new projects.

EWEA deputy CEO Justin Wilkes said, "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.

"This means installations are likely to plateau until 2015, followed by a decline as from 2016."

With 2013 grid connections, Europe's cumulative offshore wind capacity has reached 6,562MW from 2,080 turbines in 69 projects across 11 European countries. The cumulative capacity is enough to provide 0.7% of the EU's electricity.

According to EWEA, work is underway on 12 projects, which will add a further 3GW, bringing cumulative capacity in Europe to 9.4GW.

During the year, non-recourse debt finance for offshore wind reached €2.13bn, representing an increase of 10.3% from €1.93bn in 2012 and a fall by 8.6% from €2.33bn in 2011.

"Work is underway on 12 projects, which will add a further 3GW, bringing cumulative capacity in Europe to 9.4GW."

Siemens accounts for 69% of the market with 1,082MW of new capacity additions and continues to occupy the top spot for offshore turbine supplier in terms of annual installations during 2013, followed by BARD (240MW, 15%), Vestas (123MW, 8%) and Senvion (111MW, 7%).

In addition to this, Siemens also remained on top in terms of 'units connected' in 2013 with 307 3.6MW and two 6MW turbines (74%) in European waters, followed by BARD (48 5MW turbines, 12%), Vestas (41 3MW turbines, 10%) and Senvion (18 6.15MW, 4%).

In terms of European wind farm developers/owners annual market share in 2013, DONG Energy continues to be the biggest developer with 48% of total installations.

The foundation types' annual market share included monopile substructures (79%), 87 tripod foundations, 14% of all newly installed substructures, followed by jackets (39.6%), tripiles (8.1%) and a gravity foundation.


Image: A total of 418 offshore turbines with 1,567MW came online in 2013 in Europe. Photo: courtesy of European Wind Energy Association.

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