Investment in new windfarms in Europe reached €26.7bn in 2018, according to the ‘Financing and investment trends’ report by wind industry group WindEurope. In total, investment for new windfarms along with refinancing and project acquisitions was €65bn.
Of the €26.7bn invested in new wind capacity, €16.4bn was spent on 12.5GW of onshore wind and €10.3bn in 4.2GW in offshore wind capacity. Investment was especially strong in Northern Europe with the UK leading at €5.9bn and Sweden in second place with €3.7bn. Financing remained low in South East Europe at €1bn, just 4% of new assets financed in 2018.
Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) also reached record levels, with 2.4GW of PPAs agreed to in 2018. In all, wind energy investment formed of 60% of all renewable energy investments in 2018.
In its outlook for 2019, WindEurope predicts investment for onshore investment will rise to €20.8bn whilst offshore will fall to €9.1bn, a total increase of 12% to €29.9bn.
WindEurope CEO Giles Dickson said: “Wind energy got 60% of all the new investments in power generation capacity in Europe last year. And it was a record year for the amount of new wind energy capacity financed. Cost reduction means investors now get more MW per euro they invest. And lenders are more comfortable with the risks so the costs of finance are falling too.
“But Europe needs to keep investing significant amounts in wind if it’s going to meet its 32% renewables target for 2030. The money is out there. But there aren’t enough bankable projects. One problem is permitting: the processes are slower and more complex than they were. Another problem is the lack of visibility today on governments’ plans for renewables.
“The National Energy Plans they have to write this year are key to resolving this. If they’re clear and ambitious this will provide investment signals which will make projects happen.”