European offshore could reach 25GW by 2020

EUROPE: European offshore capacity could hit 25GW by 2020, a rise of over 230% on current figures, according to a new study by GWEC.

Turbines being installed at London Array, the world's largest offshore project

In its Global Wind Energy Outlook report, GWEC said 2013 was a record year for European offshore wind with 418 turbines (1,567MW) connected to the grid. In 2013, total installed capacity reached 6.5GW, enough to provide 0.7% of EU electricity requirements.

As of end-2013, the EU had 2,080 offshore turbines in 11 European countries. By July, it said this rose to 2,304 turbines, with 310 of these awaiting connection to the grid.

Additionally, GWEC said 4.9GW is believed to be "under construction". More than 90% of the world's offshore wind projects are located in European waters, with the vast bulk of these in the UK.

Elsewhere 429MW is installed in China and 49MW in Japan.

Overall, GWEC said installed wind capacity could jump to more than five times its current level by 2030.

But reaching the 2,000GW that the report claims is possible would require "unambiguous commitment to renewable energy in line with industry recommendations... [and] the political will to commit to appropriate policies".

However, GWEC claims that reaching this "advanced scenario" is still well within the capacity of the wind industry that exists today.