Wind farms installed in deep seas could meet 14% of the EU’s electricity demand and generate 318,000 jobs by 2030, according to a new report by the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA).
The report, Deep Water – The next step for offshore wind energy, describes how offshore wind is one of the fastest growing maritime sectors, and that the 5 gigawatts achieved at the end of 2012 could soon be eight times higher, reaching 40 gigawatts by 2020. This amount of energy could meet 4% of European electricity demand in the same period.
The EWEA authors estimate how at its current growth rate, by 2030, offshore wind capacity could total 150 gigawatts and meet 14% of the EU’s total electricity consumption.
But for these figures to be reached, Jacopo Moccia, Head of Policy Analysis at EWEA, says that strong policy and design innovation must be implemented. He commented: “To allow this sector to realize its potential and deliver major benefits for Europe, a clear and stable legislative framework for after 2020 – based on a binding 2030 renewable energy target – is vital. This must be backed by an industrial strategy for offshore wind including support for R&D.”
In the report foreword, Maria Damanaki, European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries writes: “As this report shows, innovation and competitiveness will only flourish if all pillars of the European energy, industrial, environment and research policy are linked and framed in a comprehensive 2030 vision. I know I can count on the European Commission, the Member States, the European Parliament and all the stakeholders to help develop the new economic thinking that can take us into a sustainable blue future.”
Earlier this year, the World Wind Energy Association reported that in 2012, worldwide wind capacity increased more than ever before with a sector turnover of US$75 billion, led by China, the US, India and Germany. While Germany was Europe’s biggest market for new turbines (31 gigwatts) followed by Spain (23 gigawatts), UK claimed the largest stake in the global offshore wind market, at 74% (compared to 46% in 2011).