UK the dominant player in EU offshore wind market

While the European offshore wind power market had a stable 2011, the UK has shown itself to be the clear leader in this sphere of renewable energy.

Last year, 87 per cent (750 MW) of all newly installed and grid connected offshore wind power was located in waters around the U.K., according to the latest statistics from the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA).

For 2011, 235 new offshore wind turbines -- worth an estimated €2.4bn ($3.1bn) - were grid connected. This added a total 886 MW during 2011, a slight drop on 2010's 883 MW, reports Industrial Info.

The news that the U.K. dominated 2011's offshore wind market comes in the same week that the country had passed the 6000 MW mark for wind power for the first time.

The EU currently has a total of 6188 MW from offshore wind power generation. Preparatory work has started on nine other projects, that will have a combined installed capacity of 2910 MW.

The EWEA wants to see 40 000 MW of offshore wind power in place by 2020, which will contribute approximately 4 per cent of the E.U.'s total electricity needs.

Justin Wilkes, Policy Director of EWEA said, "Despite the economy-wide financial squeeze, 2011 saw a 40 per cent increase on the previous year in offshore non-recourse debt financing, up from $1.9bn in 2010 to $2.67bn in 2011."

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