Europe invested a total of €27 billion in the construction of new wind farm capacity in 2018, trade association WindEurope says.
According to WindEurope’s ‘Financing and Investment Trends’ report, the figure for 2018 is along similar lines to the amount invested in previous years. However, thanks to cost reductions, it will finance a record 16.7 GW of new wind capacity.
In total 190 wind farms across 22 different countries in Europe reached Final Investment Decision (FID) last year. Most of the future new capacity for which investments were announced last year was onshore wind: 12.5 GW. Offshore wind accounted for 4.2 GW, WindEurope said.
The report shows that the UK was the biggest investor in 2018. Sweden was second, while investments in Southern and Central and Eastern Europe were only four per cent of the total.
A further €24.1 billion was invested in the acquisition of wind farms including projects under development and of companies involved in wind energy, WindEurope said. Developers are also increasingly financing wind farms through debt, WindEurope said.
WindEurope CEO Giles Dickson said: “Wind energy got 60 per cent of all the new investments in power generation capacity in Europe last year. And it was a record year for the amount of new wind energy capacity financed. Cost reduction means investors now get more MW per euro they invest. And lenders are more comfortable with the risks so the costs of finance are falling too.
“But Europe needs to keep investing significant amounts in wind if it’s going to meet its 32 per cent renewables target for 2030. The money is out there. But there aren’t enough bankable projects. One problem is permitting: the processes are slower and more complex than they were. Another problem is the lack of visibility today on governments’ plans for renewables. The National Energy Plans they have to write this year are key to resolving this. If they’re clear and ambitious this’ll provide investment signals which will make projects happen.”