Offshore wind installations and connections in Europe are at a record high.
For the first half of 2010, over 118 new offshore wind turbines totaling 333 megawatts worth of capacity became operational in Europe. For comparison, a total of 577 megawatts worth were installed for the entire year of 2009. In addition to those turbines up and running, another 151 turbines have been installed and await grid connection, according to the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA).
Europe now has 948 offshore wind turbines offering a total capacity of 2,396 megawatts in operation.
Of those offshore wind projects connected to the grid in the first half of 2010, EWEA estimates that E.ON Climate and Renewables developed 64 percent of them, while Siemens supplied 55 percent of the turbines.
Of course, Siemens, a major wind turbine supplier, will soon face more competition. GE announced in March that it plans to put $450 million into developing its wind turbine business in Europe over the next 10 years.
Within days of the EWEA report, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) announced it's forming the Offshore Wind Development Coalition (OffshoreWindDC), a coalition made up of wind developers and supportive organizations whose sole purpose will be to educate the public on the pros and cons of offshore wind, and promote its installation.
They have a good reason to develop a lobby group.
While the residents of the European Union seem to have been sold on the idea that offshore wind can be a significant contributor to their pledge to get 20 percent of their energy from renewable resources by 2020, the U.S. public has yet to embrace it despite predictions of a positive impact.… Read more