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Feb 7, 2018 @ 12:05

Offshore wind power surges 25% in Europe


Europe’s capacity to generate offshore wind power soared 25 percent last year, an industry group said Tuesday, hailing the “spectacular” jump as renewable energy grows cheaper to produce.

Germany and Britain have been leading the push to set up new wind farms, accounting for most of the 13 completed in 2017, according to WindEurope, which represents 450 companies across the continent.

In total, Europe now has the capacity to produce a maximum 15,780 megawatts of electricity per hour — on a windy day, enough to power up to 250 million homes, a WindEurope spokesman told AFP.

Onshore and offshore wind power accounted for 11.5 percent of Europe’s total energy production in 2017, he added.

“A 25 percent increase in one year is spectacular,” said WindEurope’s CEO Giles Dickson as the group issued its annual report on industry trends.

“Investing in offshore wind today costs no more than in conventional power generation.”

But he added that the long-term outlook for offshore wind was “unclear”, with investment down 60 percent last year despite the new farms built — the first year since 2012 that less cash has been poured in.

“Very few countries have defined yet what new volumes they want to install up to 2030,” Dickson said.

Offshore wind power remains concentrated in a handful of countries — Belgium, Britain, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands — which together hold 98 percent of Europe’s turbines, according to the report.

Denmark, which aims to rely on renewables for half of its energy needs by 2030, said last month that wind power generated 43.4 percent of its electricity last year. (AFP)

? Agence France-Presse

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