Europe's €27 billion investments in new wind farms in 2018 is set to finance a record amount of new wind energy capacity, according to WindEurope’s annual Financing and Investment Trends report published Thursday.
The report shows that although the amount invested is similar to previous years, cost reductions, particularly in offshore wind, will finance a record 16.7 gigawatts (GW) of new wind capacity.
WindEurope CEO Giles Dickson said that wind energy received 60% of all the new investments in power generation capacity in Europe last year.
"And it was a record year for the amount of new wind energy capacity financed. Cost reduction means investors now get more MW per euro they invest. And lenders are more comfortable with the risks so the costs of finance are falling too," he stated.
According to WindEurope, 1 megawatt (MW) of new onshore wind capacity now requires only €1.4 million in capital expenditure, compared to 2015 when €2 million was required.
For offshore wind, lower investments have also proved to be sufficient - dropping from €4.5 million in 2015 for 1 MW to €2.5 million to currently generate the same capacity.
- Onshore wind trending
The report highlighted that most of the future new capacity of 12.5 GW for which investments were announced last year was for onshore wind. Offshore wind accounted for 4.2 GW.
In total, 190 wind farms across 22 different countries in Europe reached a Final Investment Decision (FID) last year.
"Northern and Western Europe still account for most new investments. The U.K. was the biggest investor, mostly in offshore wind. Sweden was second. Investments in Southern and Central and Eastern Europe were only 4% of the total, though Spain and Poland will pick up this year," the report said.
A further €24.1 billion was invested in the acquisition of wind farms including projects under development and in companies involved in wind energy.
€1 = 6.55 Turkish liras
By Gulsen Cagatay