Europe installed 2.6 gigawatts (GW) of new offshore wind energy capacity in 2018, marking an year-on-year 18 percent rise, according to WindEurope statistics released on Thursday.
In Europe, 15 new offshore wind farms came online with the U.K. and Germany accounting for 85 percent of the new capacity: 1.3 GW and 969 megawatts (MW) respectively, the report showed.
Europe now has 105 offshore wind farms across 11 countries with a total capacity of 18.5 GW. This is around 10 percent of the total installed wind energy capacity in Europe - with the rest onshore.
The size and scale of offshore wind continues to rise. The average size of new turbines installed last year was 6.8 MW - 15 percent up on 2017.
- The biggest offshore wind farm in Europe
According to WindEurope statistics, the U.K. installed the world’s biggest offshore turbines at 8.8 MW, and opened the world’s largest offshore wind farm - the 657 MW Walney 3 extension located off the coast of Cumbria, in the Irish Sea, England.
WindEurope CEO Giles Dickson said in the statement that offshore wind will to grow strongly in Europe with technology development driving larger turbines at lower costs.
"Offshore wind now represents 2 percent of all the electricity consumed in Europe. And with a big pipeline of projects under construction and development, this number will rise significantly," he said.
By Gulsen Cagatay