EU's main renewable energy goal is to achieve 20 percent of energy coming from renewable sources by 2020. At this moment renewable energy sources supply around 11,7 % of EU's total energy demand.
The majority of energy experts believe that offshore wind energy will play key role in achieving EU's renewable energy goal and this was also confirmed by the latest reports coming from the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) and the European Environment Agency (EEA).
According to EWEA offshore wind power will grow tenfold in the next decade, generating 40GW of installed capacity by 2020, enough to meet more than four percent of the EU's total electricity demand.
The latest report from EEA predicts even bigger share of offshore wind energy by 2020. EEA estimates 17-fold increase in offshore wind energy capacity across the Europe to more than 44.2GW by 2020.
The EWEA also predicts investments into offshore wind energy sector of €10.4bn a year by 2020. EU's offshore wind energy sector should under this scenario create 169,000 new green jobs by 2020.
Offshore wind power capacity could grow to 150GW by 2030, accounting for 13.9 % of EU electricity.
Many future EU offshore wind energy projects will likely be constructed in UK, German and Belgium waters. The United Kingdom is current leader in offshore installations by having approximately 45 % of Europe's total offshore wind capacity.
Arthouros Zervos, president of EWEA said that "EU decision makers need to set ambitious renewable energy targets beyond 2020, invest more in research and develop offshore grid".