Europe invested €43bn in new wind farms in 2020, the second highest annual amount on record and equal to 20GW of capacity, according to WindEurope. This is around 70% up on 2019, with €17bn for onshore wind, covering 13GW of new capacity and €26bn for offshore wind, covering 7GW of new capacity.
Large projects boosted the offshore numbers, including Dogger Bank in the UK which will be Europe’s largest wind farm when completed and Hollandse Kust Zuid in the Netherlands.
The UK accounted for €13bn of the €43bn investments. The Netherlands was next with €8bn, then France (€6.5bn) and Germany (€4.3bn).
Germany and France invested the most in onshore wind. France also financed its second and third offshore wind farm. Turkey was the fifth biggest investor with €1.6bn, Poland 6th with €1.6bn.
Another important trend is the growing role of corporate renewable power purchase agreements (PPA) in supporting the financing of wind farms.
Corporate and industrial energy consumers are increasingly keen to source power directly from wind farms. 2020 saw 24 new wind energy PPAs covering more than 2GW of capacity, signed across a range of sectors including chemicals, pharmaceuticals, telecoms and ICT. PPAs provide stable long-term revenues for wind. They make it easier to raise debt at low interest.