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Europe's Vattenfall invests in world’s largest offshore wind farm

The 1,500-MW Hollandse Kust Zuid wind farm will power 2 million-3 million Dutch homes and is part of a larger industry trend toward renewables and away from fossil fuels.

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Vattenfall offshore windfarm map.

Vattenfall offshore wind farm map. Source | Vattenfall

European electricity and heat producer Vattenfall (Solna, Sweden) announced on June 4 an investment in the Hollandse Kust Zuid 1,500-MW offshore wind farm. This is another indicator of the increasing investment in offshore wind and other clean energy technologies, with an accompanying decrease in investment for fossil fuels. According to independent energy research and business intelligence firm Rystad Energy (Oslo, Norway), capital expenditures on offshore wind will surpass upstream oil and gas spending in Europe by 2022.

“Offshore wind development in Europe is expected to flourish in the coming years as countries strive to reach their ambitious 2030 targets [for reduced carbon emissions] – and large investments will be required,” says Alexander Flotre, Rystad Energy’s project manager for offshore wind, in a press release detailing offshore wind expenditures. “Commissioning activity is expected to increase towards 2025, and projects expected to be operational in 2023-2025 are already driving up capital expenditure in 2020. This trend will continue in the coming years,” Flotre adds.

According to November 2019 report in The Guardian, the European Investment Bank (EIB), the world’s largest multilateral financial institution, will not finance oil, gas and coal projects after 2021. The EIB says all future funding decisions will align with the 2016 Paris Climate Agreement, and all future energy projects seeking EIB funding will be required to show they can produce 1 kilowatt hour of energy while emitting less than 250 grams of carbon dioxide. The article notes that then incoming European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen, wants to turn the EIB into a “climate bank,” unlocking a potential €1 trillion in funding to help move Europe’s economy toward cleaner energy. She also wants the EU, by 2030, to reduce its emissions-reduction target by at least 40% from 1990 levels to help achieve Europe’s goal to become the first climate-neutral continent by 2050.