The UK has created a reputation for being at the top of Europe in wind-power investments, with an estimated €13 billion (£11.2bn) invested last year alone into new installations to make it number one on WindEurope’s overall investment rankings this year.
The organization estimates that European countries are investing more than ever before – and second only to 2016’s record amount set when around €44 billion was ploughed out by member states including Germany, France and Italy – making 2020 the second highest annual expenditure seen so far according to their research which is published today (June 11). Data shows that this is up an overwhelming 70% since 2019.
The analysis indicates that large projects such as UK’s Dogger Bank and the Netherlands Hollandse Kust Zuid in have boosted the numbers.
Despite the pandemic, wind energy remained an attractive investment with €17 billion (£14.7bn) spent on new capacity and only €26 billion (£22.5bn) invested in offshore turbines which have higher costs per watt of power generated than their land-based counterparts due to difficulties transporting materials underwater as well as increased maintenance needs for corrosion protection that come from being submerged at sea. Giles Dickson, WindEurope Chief Executive Officer suggested that we are still in need of more opportunities, as fossil fuel prices are still on the rise.
He continued to encourage that the wind energy sector is perfectly poised to support Europe’s economic recovery from Covid. Every new turbine generates €10 million (£8.6m) of economic activity in Europe, and the expansion of this renewable resource envisaged by National Energy Strategies can create 150,000 jobs by 2030.