The UK offshore wind sector grew faster than anywhere else in Europe last year with more than 73% of all new capacity additions installed in British waters, as Siemens and Dong maintained their positions as the industry's leading lights.
Figures for 2012 from the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) show that the UK now accounts for 58.9% (2.95GW) of Europe’s total installed offshore capacity, followed by Denmark with 18.4%, Belgium’s 7.6% and Germany with 5.6%.
Industry body RenewableUK says the EWEA statistics confirm that Britain’s offshore wind sector enjoyed one of its most successful years ever in 2012 with some 854MW installed. The country has more offshore capacity than the rest of the world put together.
Across Europe a total of 293 offshore turbines were installed and fully grid-connected at nine wind farms last year. Developers added an additional 1.16GW of capacity – a 33% increase over 2011’s installations. This brings the continent’s total offshore wind capacity to 4.99GW.
EWEA says prospects for 2013 and 2014 are positive, with projects under construction due to increase total installed capacity by a further 3.3GW, bringing the total offshore capacity in Europe to 8.3GW.