Record year for financial backers of wind

Wind farms have received record levels of backing from investors, according to newly released figures.

According to the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) financial institutions will this year provide a record amount of financing to the sector - more than Euro 3 billion.

Figures, taking in the first half of 2011, make excellent reading for the entire wind industry.

They reveal what the EWEA proclaims a 'comfortable' 4.5% increase in installations of offshore capacity compared to the first half of 2010.

While 101 new offshore wind turbines, with a total capacity of 348MW were connected to power grids in the UK, Germany and Norway during the first six months of 2011.

In Europe as a whole 11 offshore wind farms, worth around Euro 8.5 billion and with a total capacity of 2,844MW, are currently under construction.

The size of the installed offshore wind turbines averaged 3.4MW, which is up from an average of 2.9MW during the first half of 2010.

EWEA chief executive, Christian Kjaer, said: "While I see several positive trends for the European offshore wind power industry, we are not home and dry yet.

"The sector is coming out of the financial crisis but is still facing a potential worsening of the general economic crisis.

"The number of banks providing capital for offshore wind farm investments is steadily growing, although there is a continued need for attracting an increasing number of large institutional investors to offshore wind farms - presently the largest construction projects going on in Europe."

Luke Walsh


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