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EUROPE OFFSHORE WIND CAPACITY

1 June, 2016

The United Kingdom has the highest amount of installed offshore wind capacity in Europe, closely followed by Germany. While the UK has about 54 per cent installed offshore wind capacity, Germany boasts about 35 per cent of the same.

Together, the two European countries represent over 74 per cent of all installations in the region. Belgium is another western European country which has an installed offshore wind capacity of 9.5 per cent, according to the European Wind Energy Association, Belgium.

Even though UK has the most installed offshore wind power in Europe, Germany has overtaken the UK in the rate at which it is installing wind turbines. The UK produces 5,060 MW of wind power while Germany produces 3,294 MW and Denmark and Belgium generate 1,271 MW and 712 MW respectively.

The Netherlands also generates 426 MW of wind power, as per the European Wind Energy Association.

Germany also has the distinction of having every third kilowatt-hour consumed in the year 2015 coming from wind, solar, hydroelectric or biomass power plants, demonstrating its firm commitment to green energy sources to generate power.

Renewable sources of energy contributed an impressive 30 per cent of the gross power production in Germany in 2015. Hard coal contributed 18.2 per cent, lignite 24 per cent, nuclear energy 14.1 per cent and natural gas 8.8 per cent. Oil as a source made up for less than one per cent, as per the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, 2016.

Out of the numerous sources of renewable energy which contributed to Germany’s gross power production last year, wind power proved to be number one.

The total share of wind power in the renewable energy sources was 13.3 per cent, followed by biomass which contributed 6.8 per cent. Photovoltaic sources contributed 6 per cent, while hydro power and household waste contributed 3 per cent and 0.9 per cent respectively.

The renewable sources of energy have also contributed to Germany’s Gross Domestic Production (GDP). The German economy is benefiting from both domestic and international renewable investments even as the contribution of renewable sources to the country’s GDP has steadily gone up over the years.

In 2003 the share of renewables in Germany’s GDP was just 0.5 per cent. The figure increased and became 1.5 per cent in 2006. Three years later, in 2009, it climbed to 2 per cent, gradually becoming 2.5 per cent in 2012. The number is further expected to rise up to 3 per cent in 2030.

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