European offshore wind investment reached €18.2 billion in 2016, according to WindEurope.
The report, The European offshore wind industry: Key trends and statistics 2016, which was released today, revealed the figure had increased by 39% from 2015.
The UK attracted the greatest investment at almost €10.493 billion, followed by Germany (€4.289 billion), Belgium (€2.3 billion), Denmark (€1 billion) and Finland (€120 million).
Between the five countries, 4.948GW of new capacity was financed. More than half of this was in the UK.
Since 2010, the UK has attracted €31.3 billion for new asset financing, making it the biggest offshore wind market for capital spending commitments.
The report also revealed that Europe’s offshore wind industry has grown at an annual average of 30% in the last five years.
Giles Dickson, CEO of WindEurope, said: “It's good to see the high level of investments in offshore wind up 40% year on year.
“The new installations are in line with trend rate of the last five years after a spike in 2015 due to a backlog of grid connections.
"We've installed on average one wind turbine every day in Europe for the last two years. With a strong pipeline of new projects on the way, we expect the numbers to rise quickly over the next four years. We should see over 3GW of new installations in 2017. We're set to reach 25GW total capacity by 2020 – double today's level.
“Beyond that there's a question mark. Germany, the Netherlands and the UK have signalled further build-out of offshore wind to 2030, but other countries haven't yet. Now is the time for them to do so, as they start writing their Energy and Climate Change Action Plans as part of the EU Energy Union.
“The bottom line is Europe needs to keep up the strong growth of offshore wind to deliver the energy transition. And it's increasingly affordable: the winning prices in the last four tenders show offshore wind is now competitive with all other forms of power generation. And costs will continue to fall, provided these keep growing and volumes are healthy.”