We need to talk about onshore
Is Europe's terrestrial wind business in danger of being forgotten?
Despite having battled severe economic headwinds, Europe's offshore wind industry has really picked up the pace this year and substantially increased its market share.
According to EWEA, developers connected 132 turbines to the grid in the first half of 2012, and those turbines, which have the cumulative capacity to generate 523 megawatts, represent a 50 percent increase over the first half of 2011. In total, it points to a surprisingly good year for offshore in Europe - some say the best ever.
In fact, according to those EWEA figures, a further 160 turbines, totalling 647.4 MW, are built but awaiting grid connection (this is subject to weather conditions at sea and grid connection delays).
However - and this is a big however - the figures for onshore in Europe don't seem to be stacking up quite as well. A simple scan through the results on Google News for ‘onshore developments' point to a dip in orders. Or perhaps just a blip.
The situation is not helped, of coursed, by the ongoing situation with subsidies, and in fact, the UK has further complicated matters by ordering a 10 per cent cut in onshore subsidies.
The UK's Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) has succeeded in introducing the cut - despite winning a battle with the finance ministry, which wanted deeper cuts (of 25 per cent, reportedly). "Renewable energy will create a multi-billion pound boom for the British economy, driving growth and supporting jobs across the country," said Secretary of State for Energy & Climate Change Ed Davey, who claimed that the changes to the Renewable Obligation (RO) rebanding will trigger between £20 billion ($31 billion) and £25 billion of investment into the UK economy over 2013-17.