The COVID-19 pandemic did not affect new offshore wind financing in Europe, which reached a record with €26.3bn of investments. It means that 7.61 GW of new capacity will be built in the next years

FLAGSHIP project, a new Horizon 2020 initiative, arises in this context with the aim of reducing the costs of floating offshore wind energy

The European investments in offshore wind farms hit a new record in 2020, according to the latest report published by WindEurope, which was released the 8th of February. This statement shows how Europe reached a record amount of €26.3bn of investments in new offshore wind farms during last year. These numbers will finance 7.1 GW of new offshore wind capacity that will be built in the next years.

Moreover, Europe built 2.9 GW of new offshore wind in 2020 and at this point the continent has 25GW of offshore wind capacity, following the roadmap stablished in WindEurope’s pre-COVID forecast. The European Union’s goal is to have a total of 300 GW by 2050.

As Giles Dickson, WindEurope’s CEO, has explained in a press release, “€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. And these investments will create jobs and growth. Every new offshore wind turbine generates €15m of economic activity. We expect the 77,000 people working in offshore wind today in Europe to be 200,000 by 2030.”

With these updated statistics, Europe now has 116 offshore wind farms across 12 countries. 40% of the capacity is in the UK, but there are some new players that are entering in the sector. Specially in the case of floating technologies. For example, France is planning four small floating offshore wind farms and this year will tender a large floating offshore wind farm. Other countries like Poland or Greece are also adopting measures and plans to impulse offshore wind energy.

“Offshore wind is no longer just about the North Sea. It’s rapidly becoming a pan-European affair. More and more countries are making commitments on it. Poland, Spain, Greece, Ireland, 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,” has said Dickson.

A webinar on the Trends and Statistics in Offshore Wind in Europe 2020

Within the framework of WindEurope’s efforts to promote offshore wind energy, on Thursday, February 11th, the organisation will host a webinar on the latest trends and statistics in this energy field in Europe. The event will start at 11:00 am and will finish at 12:00 PM CET.

In this webinar, WindEurope analysts will discuss the latest developments within the European offshore wind industry, outlining key installations in offshore wind farms, supply chain activity, investment trends, and the latest policy development. The webinar will be also followed by a Q&A session for participants.  Anyone interested in attending this event can register through the following link.

In this context, the FLAGSHIP project, a new Horizon 2020 initiative, arises with the aim to be a key step towards reducing the costs of floating offshore wind energy, which will make commercial wind farms a promising option in the field of renewable energy.

Coordinated by Iberdrola, FLAGSHIP will build a robust and innovative semi-submersible concrete floating platform that includes an easy-to-install anchorage design, innovative mooring designs and configurations, as well as new cable designs with optimised installation and life management procedures. According to the project’s schedule, the production of the floating platform could start in the third quarter of 2021 and its installation at sea in the first quarter of 2022.