Overall, renewable energy capacity investment showed great resilience in the first half of 2020 in the face of the Covid-19 downturn. The boom in offshore wind projects across Europe offset declines in investment in solar, onshore wind and biomass.
The investments boost the market for turbines, controllers and high voltage submarine cable systems from European companies such as Siemens Gamesa (soon to be Siemens Energy), Vestas and Nexans as well as GE Renewable Energy.
Despite the overall decline shown above, offshore wind deals in 1H 2020 totaled $35 billion, up 319 percent year-on-year and well above 2019’s record full-year figure (a revised $31.9 billion). The first half of this year saw investment decisions made on 28 sea-based wind farms, including the largest ever, the 1.5GW Vattenfall Hollandse Zuid array off the coast of the Netherlands, costing an estimated $3.9 billion.
Other major offshore deals included the 1.1GW SSE Seagreen project off the U.K., at an estimated $3.8 billion; the 600MW CIP Changfang Xidao array off Taiwan, at an estimated $3.6 billion; and the Fecamp and Saint-Brieuc projects in French waters, together totaling 993MW and $5.4 billion. There were no fewer than 17 Chinese installations financed, led by the Guangdong Yudean Yangjiang Yangxi Shapaat 600MW and $1.8 billion.
“We expected to see Covid-19 affecting renewable energy investment in the first half, via delays in the financing process and to some auction programs. There are signs of that in both solar and onshore wind, but the overall global figure has proved amazingly resilient – thanks to offshore wind,” said Albert Cheung, head of analysis at BNEF.