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Investing in Renewable Energy Projects in Europe – Dentons Guide

The closing days of 2018 saw the European Union’s member states finalize their long-gestating revamp of the bloc’s electricity market design, putting pens to paper on a deal that—as the last element of the Clean Energy Package, the overarching regulatory framework for the EU’s future renewables-powered electricity system—formally anoints wind and solar as the engines of the region’s decarbonization.

With Brussels last year giving the green light to a 2030 renewables target of 32 percent and so granting mid-range visibility to investors, wind—which is now forecast by the International Energy Agency to be Europe’s leading source of power by 2027—and solar—in the midst of an auspicious resurgence in its regional build-out—are poised to take on the mantle.

By WindEurope’s latest calculus, some 13.5 GW of onshore and offshore wind energy is on track to be added in 2018 to the current 173 GW installed EU fleet—meeting 12 percent of the bloc’s power demand. And, from 2030, a steady 20 GW of turbines could be set turning each year, covering 36 percent of Europe’s power generation by mid-century at a cost of €1.1 million (US$1.3 million) per megawatt onshore, a 30 percent drop on current price levels, and €2.2 million per megawatt offshore, 23 percent lower than today.

European offshore wind continued its bull run last year with a worldleading 3.3 GW of new capacity switched on, supercharged by a UK market that wired in more than 2.1 GW of new turbines, including, notably, those on the world’s biggest offshore wind farm yet, the 659 MW Walney Extension, as well as the scout turbine for the landmark 50 MW Kincardine floating array.

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Investing in Renewable Enrgy Projects in Europe