2011 offshore wind power market
- 235 new offshore wind turbines, in nine wind farms, worth some €2.4 billion, were fully grid connected between 1 January and 31 December 2011, totalling 866 MW, 17 MW less than 2010.
- 246 turbines were erected during 2011, an average of 2.6 MW per day. 81 of these turbines are awaiting grid connection.
- Three experimental floating concepts were erected, one of which was a full-scale grid connected concept.
- Offshore work began on a further five projects and preparatory onshore work on nine new projects.
Cumulative offshore wind power market
- 1,371 turbines installed and grid connected, totaling 3,813 MW in 53 wind farms in ten European countries: up from 1,136 turbines, totalling 2,946 MW in 45 wind farms in nine European countries end 2010.
- 75% of substructures are monopiles, 21% gravity based, jackets 2% and tripiles 2%. There are also two full scale grid-connected floating turbines.
- Once completed, the nine offshore projects currently under construction will increase installed capacity by a further 2,375 MW, bringing cumulative capacity in Europe to 6,188 MW.
- Preparatory work has started on nine other projects, these have a cumulative installed capacity of 2,910 MW.
Trends: turbines, foundations, water depth and distance to shore
- The average offshore wind farm size in 2011 was almost 200 MW up 29% (45 MW) on the previous year.
- Average water depth in 2011 reached 22.8 m, substantially more than last year.
- Average distance to shore decreased, being 23.4 km in 2011 compared to 27.1 km the previous year. However, the distance of wind farms under construction is 33.2 km.
Financing highlights and developments
- In 2011 non-recourse debt financing for offshore wind farms increased by 40% on the previous year, from €1.46 billion to €2.05 billion with three transactions (Meerwind, Blobaltech I, Baltic 1) closing in 2011.
- In 2011, with equity finance, more than 3 GW in net planned capacity changed hands, in addition to the investment commitments announced by a number of utilities and developers on projects they already own. DONG Energy has continued to be the most active equity player, both on the acquisition and on the sale side.
New turbine announcements
- In 2011, 23 new wind turbines models were announced: 51 new models have been announced by 41 companies over the past two and a half years.
Offshore grid developments
- The BritNed interconnector between Britain and the Netherlands was completed on time and within the established budget. Operation began in April 2011.
- East-West link between Ireland and Britain is on track, whilst NorGer and NordLink cables between Norway and continental Europe have been delayed. The Cobra cable between Denmark and the Netherlands is awaiting final investment decision.
- The European Commission is proposing €9.1 billion to accelerate planning and finance new energy infrastructure. Moreover, the UE's TEN-E plan has offered a grant to the NorthConnect project between Scotland and Norway.
- A bottleneck in supply of High Voltage (HV) offshore cables is looming, but the prospects for supply of High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) cables are brighter.