The European offshore wind sector attracted over 26 billion euros (around $31.7 billion) of investment last year, a record amount, according to the latest figures from industry body WindEurope.
In an announcement Monday, the Brussels-based organization said the cash raised will finance a total of 7.1 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind capacity, with projects set to be developed and built over the next few years. Capacity refers to the maximum amount that installations can produce, not necessarily what they are currently generating.
Last year saw 2.9 GW of offshore wind capacity installed, a 20% drop compared to 2019 but a number WindEurope still described as being “in line” with its pre-Covid 19 forecast.
Europe’s offshore wind capacity now stands at a little over 25 GW, with 42% of this located in U.K. waters. Long term, the European Union, which the U.K. left in January 2020, is targeting 300 GW of offshore wind by the middle of this century. U.K. authorities want their offshore wind capacity to hit 40 GW by the year 2030.
Giles Dickson, WindEurope’s CEO, said in a statement Monday that the investment figures from last year represented a “huge vote of confidence in offshore wind.”