The deployment of larger wind turbines has helped to boost capacity growth in Europe’s offshore sector, according to the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA).

In the first six months of 2015, more new offshore capacity was installed in the region than in any other year on record, and total installed offshore capacity now stands at 10 393.6 MW in 82 wind farms across 11 countries, says EWEA.

Installations in the first half of 2015 reached 2342.9 MW – tripling the amount installed in the same period in 2014. Some 584 wind turbines were fully grid connected in the first half of 2015, and the average machine size rose to 4.2 MW from 3.5 MW a year earlier.

"It has taken the offshore wind industry just six months to set the best year the sector has ever seen in terms of installed capacity," said Kristian Ruby, Chief Policy Officer at EWEA. "While this clearly shows a commitment to offshore wind development in Europe, a number of completed projects, explosive growth in Germany and the use of higher capacity wind turbines are major contributors to these numbers."

Ruby added: "To ensure healthy growth in the coming years, and to guarantee offshore wind energy plays its role in meeting the EU’s competitiveness, security and decarbonisation objectives, the industry needs long-term visibility.

Strong reforms to the operation of Europe’s electricity market and much-needed upgrades to infrastructure to help the integration of wind energy must be a priority. It is also critical that Member States meet renewable energy commitments toward the end of this decade and set out a clear game plan to meet Europe’s 2030 targets."