The European offshore wind industry is set to more than triple its annual investments over the next decade – creating jobs, manufacturing and construction opportunities in many countries. At the end of the month, the world’s largest offshore wind power event takes place in Amsterdam where leading industry figures and investors will discuss how offshore wind can replicate the success of the onshore industry.
The 7,500 participants will include the global investor Blackstone, the Dutch Rabobank, the Danish Export Credit Fund, ING Bank, Green Giraffe Energy Bankers, financial analysts Bloomberg, many Chief Finance Officers of European utilities and public financing institutes like Norddeutsche Landesbank. Not to mention wind turbine manufacturers, wind farm developers and other participants in the growing offshore wind industry.
The European Wind Energy Association expects annual investments in the European offshore wind industry to reach 10 billion Euros by 2020.
The offshore wind industry has shown strong growth despite difficulties in accessing financing due to the financial crisis (installations in 2011 are expected to be 13% up on installations in 2010).
‘So far the financing squeeze has not really been felt very much in the offshore wind industry,’ said Henrik Stiesdal, Chief Technology Officer of Siemens Wind Power. ‘I guess the main reasons are that many deals are balance sheet financed by very solid companies, and that many parties can clearly see the long-term solidity of the business. In that respect we are very different from many other businesses.’
‘As Europe struggles to avoid economic standstill, this gathering of the offshore wind industry could hardly be more timely,’ said Christian Kjaer, Chief Executive of the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA). ‘Offshore wind energy is a new industry with huge potential in which European companies are world leaders. Europe needs this industry to take off more than ever before.’
EWEA OFFSHORE 2011 takes place at Amsterdam RAI from 29 November until 1 December 2011.