Europe’s offshore wind capacity will reach a new high this year, driven primarily by UK projects, surpassing 4 GW for the first time and more than doubling the increases seen in 2021, a new Rystad Energy analysis suggests. Capacity additions on the continent should reach 4.2 GW in 2022, exceeding the 1.8 GW total in 2021 and breaking the previous annual high of 3.8 GW achieved in 2019.
In 2022, UK projects will add 3.2 GW of capacity, a new yearly high for the country, topping the previous record of 2.1 GW established in 2018. The country’s installed capacity is being accelerated by three huge projects that are projected to be completely operational in 2022 and will be the three most significant projects in Europe in 2022: Orsted’s 1.3 GW Hornsea Two, The Moray East development – primarily owned by Ocean Winds, a joint venture between Engie of France and EDP Renewables of Spain, and Triton Knoll, majority controlled by German renewable powerhouse RWE.
France will be the second-largest contributor to capacity expansions in Europe this year, with the country launching its first commercial offshore wind project of 480 MW. Germany is scheduled to begin installations, led by the 342 MW Kaskasi project, after adding no wind power in 2021. Norway is also expected to contribute to the commissioning of the 88 MW Hywind Tampen floating project. The Netherlands and Denmark are not expected to bring any new offshore wind projects online in 2022.
According to Rystad, new capacity additions are predicted to almost double again in 2023 to 7.3 GW, before skyrocketing to 8.6 GW in 2025. Annual capacity additions are expected to slow in 2024 owing to project scheduling, but significant building activity is expected to lead to record-high commissioning numbers in 2025.
“Europe is the world’s most mature offshore wind region, but Chinese installations have dominated global additions in recent years. Chinese projects represented 85% of all global capacity additions in 2021, with Europe only contributing 10%. But that looks set to change this year, and the continent is expected to continue ramping up capacity additions through the end of the decade,” said Rystad Energy offshore wind analyst Anubhav Venkatesh.