Offshore Wind Powers Ahead In Europe

The number of wind turbines being installed offshore and connected to power grids in Europe is growing, according to the European Wind Energy Association’s midyear update.

The group said the number of offshore wind turbines fully connected to the grid in the first half of the year grew by 4.5 percent compared to the same period one year ago. That translates to 101 new turbines with the total capacity of 348 megawatts (MW). The turbines were connected to power grids in the United Kingdom, Germany and Norway. In addition, 11 offshore wind power plants are being construction across European waters. It’s estimate those new turbines will boost capacity by 2,844 MW.

offshore wind power, Europe

image via Shutterstock

Along with the more turbines, their average capacity has also increased. In 2011, wind turbines averaged 3.4 MW, up from an average of 2.9 MW in the first half of 2010.

Investment is also on the rise in the wind energy sector in Europe this year; more than 3 billion Euros have been spent on wind turbine installation, with three to five transactions expected to close by the end of the year.

As of June 30, 2011, there were 1,247 offshore wind turbines connected to the grid, providing total capacity of 3,294 MW. Those turbines were spread between 49 sites in nine European countries.

Kristy Hessman is a writer and native Oregonian who currently resides in California. Before starting her own company, she worked as a reporter covering business and politics for daily newspapers and The Associated Press.