Strong growth predicted for offshore wind

Industry buoyant over future prospects, but critical of planned EU research cutbacks

Offshore wind energy is set for a dramatic explosion in northern Europe but its potential is under threat from proposed cuts in EU research grants, according to the European wind energy association (Ewea).

At a conference about offshore wind prospects held in Brussels this week, Ewea forecast an increase in installed capacity from just 86 megawatts (MW) today to 50,000MW by 2020. By this time, offshore wind would represent one-third of all European wind power. Projects already "in the pipeline" are expected to increase capacity to 5,000MW by 2010.

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