New stats from industry body WindEurope show that the UK accounted for 1.7 GW of new offshore wind power capacity, which is 53% of the 3.15 GW total capacity installed across Europe last year.
Germany had the second-largest capacity increase with 1.3 GW. Overall, total European offshore wind capacity increased by 25% in just one year to 15.8 GW, with more than 4,000 wind turbines in 11 countries.
The statistics also show an increasing trend in the size of both wind turbines and wind farms. On average, new turbines had 5.9 MW of capacity, which is 23% more than the 2016 average. New wind farms, meanwhile, had 34% more capacity on average with 493 MW.
Manufacturers and developers are clearly opting for increasingly larger turbines to improve efficiency. Many in the industry believe 13–15MW turbines will become the norm by 2024, with there still being room to scale them up further before hitting any physical limits. In the meantime, lubricant manufacturers such as Mobil, the maker of industrial lubricants like Mobil Glygoyle 30, work to develop new lubricants that meet the needs of these mammoth machines in the harsh marine climate.
WindEurope CEO Giles Dickson said about the new statistics:
“A 25% increase in one year is spectacular. Offshore wind is now a mainstream part of the power system. And the costs have fallen rapidly. Investing in offshore wind today costs no more than in conventional power generation. It just shows Europe’s ready to embrace a much higher renewables target for 2030.”