Europe invests record €26.3 billion in new offshore wind farms in 2020

A massive €26.3 billion was invested in new European offshore wind farms last year, according to latest data from the regional association WindEurope.

The record sum was achieved despite of COVID-19-related constraints throughout the year, and will finance 7.1GW of new offshore wind capacity which will be built in the coming years.

“€26 billion in new investments in 2020 is a huge vote of confidence in offshore wind. Investors see that offshore wind is cheap, reliable, and resilient – and that Governments want more of it,” said WindEurope CEO Giles Dickson.

“Every new offshore wind turbine generates €15 million of economic activity. We expect the 77,000 people working in offshore wind today in Europe to be 200,000 by 2030,” he added.

In 2020, 2.9GW of new offshore wind was added in Europe, giving a total regional capacity of 25GW. This is comprised of 116 offshore wind farms across 12 countries, with 40% of this capacity located in UK waters.

However, offshore wind is no longer just about the North Sea, according to Dickson. “It’s rapidly becoming a pan-European affair. Poland, Spain, Greece, Ireland and the three Baltic States all have plans. And the rapid advance of floating offshore wind will help the build-out in the Atlantic, Mediterranean and Black Sea,” he said.

In related news, BP yesterday announced it will help develop 3GW of offshore capacity in the Irish Sea, after being selected in the UK’s first offshore wind leasing round in a decade.