European wind investments rose to €43bn last year

European investment in wind power rose to €43 billion (£36.3bn) in 2016. That’s according to a new report from WindEurope, which shows the money spent on new construction, refinancing and acquisitions was up […]

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By Jonny Bairstow

European investment in wind power rose to €43 billion (£36.3bn) in 2016.

That’s according to a new report from WindEurope, which shows the money spent on new construction, refinancing and acquisitions was up 22% from €35 billion (£29.5bn) in 2015.

New asset finance reached €27.6 billion (£23.3bn) in 2016 with a record breaking €18.2bn (£15.3bn) in offshore wind.

Onshore wind investments dropped by 5% to €9.4 billion (£7.9bn), the first decrease seen in five years.

The largest European market was the UK, with €12.7 billion (£10.7bn) raised for new onshore and offshore projects, followed by Germany with €5.3 billion (£4.5bn).

Investment levels are expected to fall in 2017 as a number of support schemes such as the UK’s Renewables Obligation scheme have closed and a number of countries transition to auction-based remuneration mechanisms.

The report shows there was uneven growth across the continent – 80% of new investments came from four countries alone, the UK, Germany, Belgium and Norway.

It also shows 14 EU Member States, including Bulgaria, Croatia and Estonia, did not announce any new wind energy investments in 2016.

Giles Dickson, Chief Executive Officer of WindEurope, said: “The competitiveness of our industry and reduced risk perceptions have brought in major financial players who are looking to diversify their portfolios.

“Cost reductions across the industry’s value chain mean investors can finance more generation capacity for less money.”