WindEurope CEO cautions against complacency in offshore wind at Hamburg Offshore Wind conference | WindEurope
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WindEurope CEO cautions against complacency in offshore wind at Hamburg Offshore Wind conference

On Monday 9 April WindEurope CEO Giles Dickson delivered a keynote address at the Hamburg Offshore Wind conference. Dickson’s address, ‘Offshore Wind in Europe: the political framework today, tomorrow’, outlined the development and outlook of offshore wind in Europe.

Recent years have seen huge strides in offshore wind. Europe now has a total installed offshore wind capacity of 15,780 MW. This corresponds to 4,149 grid-connected wind turbines across 11 countries. 2017 was a record year: twice as much as 2016 and 4% higher than the previous record in 2015. And while the outlook for offshore wind for the coming years is good in countries such as Belgium, Denmark and the UK, Dickson said that the same will soon be true for Poland. Dickson acknowledged that, while the Polish government has not been friendly towards onshore wind, there is a strong economic and industrial policy interest there in developing offshore wind projects. Political leaders in Poland are well aware of the job-creating potential of offshore wind – and investors are anticipating amendments to the country’s Renewable Energies Act which would allow for offshore wind auctions. “We do think offshore wind will happen in Poland,” Dickson concluded, and hinted that a major announcement on offshore wind in Poland is just around the corner.

However, Dickson cautioned against industry complacency on the need for public acceptance and support for offshore wind in territories where offshore wind energy has a stronger foothold. It is crucial that the industry and politicians continue to promote the benefits – environmental, economic, and industrial – which offshore wind provides. At the same time, the industry cannot afford to become complacent over the need for revenue stabilisation mechanisms. The zero-subsidy outcome of the German auction last year and the zero-subsidy tender in the Netherlands this year have both been a major talking point throughout the industry. However, Dickson insisted that such breakthroughs are “absolutely not the norm.” He continued: “In most instances governments will need to continue to provide revenue stabilisation measures.”

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