In 2014, 408 new offshore wind turbines were fully grid connected, adding 1,483 MW to the European system.
In terms of the total number of wind turbines installed at the end of 2014, Siemens remains the top supplier with 1,598 wind turbines, accounting for 64.2% of the whole market.
Vestas has installed and grid connected 621 wind turbines representing 25% of total turbines, followed by Senvion (94 wind turbines: 3.8%), BARD (80 wind turbines: 3.2%), and WinWind with 18 wind turbines (0.7%). GE, Areva, Gamesa, Alstom and Samsung together account for 1.3% of the connected capacity.
The total installed offshore wind energy capacity for Europe now stands at 8,045MW in 74 offshore wind farms in 11 European countries.
The European offshore wind energy industry saw new capacity installations decline by 84 MW (5.34%) in 2014 as the sector stabilised following record figures the previous year.
Justin Wilkes, deputy chief executive officer of the European Wind Energy Association, said: “It is not surprising that we see a levelling-off of installations in 2014 following a record year in 2013. The industry has seen exponential growth in the early part of this decade and this is a natural stabilising of that progress. Offshore wind will have a monumental part to play in the EU’s energy security drive as part of the European Energy Union but it is political determination that will help Europe unlock its offshore wind potential.”
He added: “The technology and financing are there but we need policymakers to come forward with stable long-term plans to push the growth of this industry and to avoid stop-go and inconsistent policy frameworks for offshore wind.”
In 2014, the UK accounted for over half of all new installations (54.8%) with Germany in second (35.7%) and Belgium (9.5%) making up the rest. But for 2015, Germany is expected to install more offshore capacity than the UK, which has dominated installations in Europe for the past three years.
Wilkes said: “Germany is set to buck the trend this year. The UK has more installed offshore capacity than the rest of the world combined but this year shows that other countries in the EU are making serious investments in the sector. The nine financial deals closed in 2014, of which 4 were “billion-Euro” projects, suggest that activity will pick up substantially as of 2017 as these projects begin to hit the water.”
The largest wind farms to be fully completed will be RWE’s Gwynt y Mor (576MW) in North Wales followed by Global Tech 1 (400MW) in the German North Sea.
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On 10-12 March, the European Wind Energy Association will host EWEA OFFSHORE 2015 in Copenhagen, the world’s largest offshore wind energy conference and exhibition. Registration for journalists is now open: www.ewea.org/offshore2015/media-and-press/