Europe’s Offshore Wind Sector is Growing, But Troubles Lie Ahead

European nations installed a record number of offshore wind turbines during the first half of 2013, adding more than twice the capacity installed during the same period in 2012, according to the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA), an industry group.

A total of 277 new turbines in seven wind farms were fully connected to the grid during the six-month period, adding 1,045 megawatts of energy capacity, with another 130 turbines installed but awaiting connection to the grid, the group says in a new report.

Although the new turbines bumped Europe’s total offshore wind energy capacity to 6,040 megawatts, officials say the sector’s growth is already slowing as a result of regulatory uncertainty in key countries.

While European nations such as Germany and the UK have relied on large-scale wind projects to achieve renewable energy targets by 2020, the lack of a binding target for 2030 will cause growth to stall, said Justin Wilkes, EWEA’s director of policy. “Financing of new projects has slowed down with only one project reaching financial close so far this year,” he said in a statement.

Last week, a German company, Nordex, announced that it is shutting down a turbine nacelle manufacturing plant in Arkansas, citing “the unpredictable extensions” of the U.S.’s wind energy tax credit.

Article appearing courtesy Yale Environment 360.

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