Europe’s wind capacity up from 2018

Wind farm Europe installed 2.9GW of onshore wind in the first half of the year. Image: WindEurope

Europe added 4.9GW of new wind energy capacity in the first half of 2019, according to figures released by WindEurope.

The combined installations of new onshore and offshore wind capacity is up from 4.5GW in the same period last year, but onshore installations were down due to permitting issues in Germany.

Europe installed 2.9GW of onshore wind in the first half of the year. This is down on the 3.3 GW installed in the same period last year. Installations are expected to pick up in the second half of the year, but German grid connected volumes for 2019 will be lower than historical levels. France had the most onshore installations in Europe with 523MW.

Offshore wind

1.9GW of new offshore wind was installed in the first half of the year, up from the 1.1GW added in the same period in 2018. The UK (931MW), Denmark (374MW), Belgium (370MW) and Germany (252MW) accounted for these installations. This includes Hornsea 1 in the UK which is due to be the world’s largest wind farm with 1.2GW.

In the first half of 2019 Europe invested €8.8bn in the construction of future wind farms, €6.4bn in onshore wind and €2.4bn in offshore wind. These investments will result in 5.9GW being installed and grid connected over the next two to three years.

Wilhelmsen Ship Management recently investment in a wind service supply company. Carl Schou, president and CEO of Wilhelmsen Ship Management, said: "As we are in the wind service side of business, our biggest challenge is to supply qualified manpower to work in the industry. As this is a relatively young industry that is growing exponentially, there is a shortage of manpower supply particularly in roles that require a high degree of experience and responsibility. We are looking into a few approach to create a sustainable pipeline of qualified manpower.

"Amongst them would involve leveraging on our marine manning network to convert marine crew into qualified offshore wind energy manpower. The wind service industry is rather fragmented at the moment, most service providers scope covers selected section of the industry supply chain. We aim to fill that gap by investing into developments that would build our service portfolio to provide an end-to end offering that covers the entire industry’s needs. This is not something that could be achieved overnight and would require extensive resources from established companies like the Wilhelmsen group.

"We are here for the long run and we have a long term investment horizon. We see a lot of players entering into this young and expanding industry however it is important that they are here for the long run."

Japan-based Shimizu Corporation also recently said it would build the world’s largest installation vessel at 50m wide and 142m long with a 28,000t payload.

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