Siemens wind turbines accounted for almost 693 MW of grid connected capacity, followed by REpower (111.7 MW or 13% of the 2011 wind energy market) and BARD (60 MW, 7%).
Vestas connected a full-scale 2 MW wind turbine on an experimental floating substructure in Portugal. The other experimental concepts installed in 2011 used downscaled wind turbines and were not connected to the grid.
Siemens installed and grid connected 200 wind turbines in 2011: 85% of all offshore wind turbines installed and connected during the year. REpower was in second place with 22 (9%), followed by BARD (12 wind turbines) and Vestas (one wind turbine).
With over 750 MW grid connected in British waters during 2011, 87% of new wind farm capacity was added in the United Kingdom. 108 MW were added in Germany (13%), a 3.6 MW wind turbine grid connected in Denmark.
Three experimental floating wind turbines were also installed in Norway, Sweden and Portugal. The latter being the only full-scale, grid connected model (2 MW) of the three and the first full-scale offshore wind turbine in southern European waters.
Together SSE renewables (28%), RWE (22%), DONG (19%), Vattenfall (13%) and ENBW (6%) installed 88% of new offshore wind farm capacity in 2011, respectively 245.9 MW, 190.8 MW, 168.1 MW, 111.7 MW and 48.3 MW.
Including investments made by Statoil, Statkraft and EDP’s participation in an experimental project, over 90% of all offshore wind investments in 2011 were made by utilities. BARD (55.5 MW, 7%) is the only noticeable exception.
With 233 units installed in 2011, monopile foundations remain the most common substructure for offshore wind turbines. Their share (69.3%) is similar to the previous year.
After monopiles, jackets (66 units) were the most commonly used substructures, followed by tripiles (33). One gravity based structure was used on a near-shore wind power project and three floating substructures were also installed, more than in any other year.
The average water depth of offshore wind farms where work was carried out during 2011 was 22.8 metres. This is substantially more (+31%) than in 2010 when average water depth was 17.4m.
The average distance to shore has decreased: 27.1 km in 2010, 23.4km in 2011. This is partly due to the installation of one test turbine close to the harbour wall at Avedøre in Denmark. Removing the latter from the calculation, average distance to shore in 2011 was 25.3km.
A total of 1,371 offshore wind turbines are now installed and grid connected in European waters totalling 3,812.6 MW spread across 53 wind farms in 10 countries.
The offshore wind power capacity installed by the end of 2011 will produce, in a normal wind year, 14 TWh of electricity, enough to cover 0.4% of the EU’s total consumption.
In 2010, Thanet, a 300 MW wind farm project in the UK, was the largest offshore wind farm completed and fully grid connected in the world. During 2011 over 380 MW were installed at Greater Gabbard, also in the UK. Once completed, Greater Gabbard’s total capacity will be 504 MW.
However, construction has also started on the first phase of the London Array project. Once completed, it will be 630 MW. The UK is by far the largest wind energy market with 2,094 MW installed, representing over half of all installed offshore wind farm capacity in Europe. Denmark follows with 857 MW (23%), then the Netherlands (247 MW, 6%), Germany (200 MW, 5%), Belgium (195, 5%), Sweden (164, 4%), Finland (26 MW in near-shore projects) and Ireland 25 MW. Norway and Portugal both have a full-scale e floating turbine (2.3 MW and 2 MW respectively).
In terms of cumulative installed units, in 2011 Siemens had a market share of over 50% (698 units) of all installed offshore wind turbines in Europe. Vestas has the second biggest market share 39% or 533 units installed and grid connected. The remaining 10% of the market is distributed more evenly between REpower (3%), WinWind, BARD and GE all at 1%, followed by Areva Wind.
Siemens also has the largest market share in terms of installed capacity (53%). Vestas, similarly, has the second biggest share (36%), followed by REpower (5%). However, although BARD has one less turbine installed than WinWind, its model’s higher capacity means it has a larger market share.
The vast majority (around 80%) of installed offshore capacity was developed and is owned by utilities. DONG, Vattenfall and E.On together have around 53% of the market: 21%, 19% and 12% respectively.
The Belgian Belwind consortium remains the biggest independent offshore developer in Europe with its Bligh Bank project whose first phase was completed in 2010 and second phase due to begin construction.
Projects owned or developed by several companies have been split according to the respective shares. Where the shares are not known, they have been split in equal parts between the partners.