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Wind power industry shells out EUR 65bn in Europe in 2018

The Chimiche II wind farm. Source: Iberdrola

April 18 (Renewables Now) - The wind power industry invested last year a total of EUR 65 billion (USD 73.1bn) in Europe’s new wind farms and other financing activities, according to the Financing and Investment Trends report published by WindEurope on Thursday.

The figure represents a 26% increase from 2017, with new wind assets attracting the largest chunk of the investment volume, EUR 26.7 billion, for a record 16.7 GW of future new capacity. Lower costs and sector maturity brought the price of 1 MW down to EUR 1.4 million for onshore wind farms from EUR 2 million in 2015. Offshore wind projects required EUR 2.5 million per MW, down from EUR 4.5 million in 2015.

Figures on the new wind farm financing are presented in the table below:

Technology                2017               2018
  Capacity (in GW) Investment (in EUR bn) Capacity (in GW) Investment (in EUR bn)
Onshore 9.2  15.0 12.5 16.4
Offshore 2.3 7.5 4.2 10.3

This new capacity is distributed across 190 projects in 22 countries in which the final investment decision (FID) was reached. The UK and Sweden were last year’s biggest investors accounting for 35% of the new FIDs in 2018. In South East Europe, the investor activity was low with only EUR 1 billion in new assets financing.

In 2018, investors spent EUR 18.9 billion on acquisitions of projects, either in operation or under development, up from EUR 9.1 billion in 2017. 

New projects were financed mainly with debt taking advantage of low interest rates. Lenders provided EUR 26.9 billion in non-recourse debt for the construction and refinancing of wind farms. 

In 2018, wind power represented 60% of all renewable power investments, with onshore wind alone occupying a 38% share.

(EUR 1.0 = USD 1.13)

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Sladjana is the newest addition to the Renewables Now team. She has significant experience as a Spain-focused business news reporter and is now diving deeper into the global renewable energy industry.

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