February 6, 2020 / 7:51 AM / 12 days ago

Europe added record offshore wind capacity in 2019: industry

FILE PHOTO: A wind turbine stands still in a field in Waremme, Belgium, January 25, 2016. REUTERS/Eric Vidal/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - Europe installed a record 3.6 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind capacity in 2019 but a much sharper rise is needed for the bloc to meet its climate targets, industry group WindEurope said on Thursday.

Europe announced plans last year for a green deal to set a target of net zero emissions by 2050, a goal which will require a huge increase in the amount of electricity produced from renewable resources.

The 2019 figure was up 38% on the 2.6 GW installed in 2018.

The bloc now has 22 GW of offshore wind capacity, WindEurope said, but it said meeting the Green Deal targets would require 7 GW of new offshore wind power installed a year by 2030 and 18 GW a year by 2050, the report said.

The European Commission is expected to publish this year more details of how it intends to reach the emissions target.

“The Green Deal should map out clearly how to mobilize the investments needed,” said Giles Dickson, WindEurope CEO.

“The bigger numbers are doable and affordable,” he said.

Offshore wind costs have fallen rapidly over the past few years with European auctions for offshore wind capacity clearing in a range of 40-50 euros ($99) per megawatt hour in 2019, compared with more than 150 euros six years ago, the report said.

Members of WindEurope include wind project developers Orsted and Iberdrola and turbine manufacturer Siemens Gamesa

Reporting by Susanna Twidale; Editing by Edmund Blair

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