European wind power investment sailed to €51bn in 2017

 
Courtney Goldsmith
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Wind power investment flew higher last year (Source: Getty)

Last year, a total of €51.2bn (£44.3bn) was invested into wind energy across Europe, up nine per cent from the previous year due to a surge in project and company acquisitions.

Wind power represented the largest investment opportunity in the energy sector in 2017, according to Wind Europe's latest report on financing and investment trends.

The report, which is out today, examines investments in new assets, refinancing transactions, mergers and acquisition at project and corporate level, public market transactions and private equity raised across the continent.

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It found mergers and acquisitions drove €14.4bn in investment activity, up from just €6.8bn in 2016. Company acquisition deals doubled in value last year due to the consolidation in the industry.

Deal flow in public capital markets was also up in 2017 to €7.6bn as companies made use of the low interest rate environment and liquidity in the financial markets.

However, new asset financing, including all infrastructure investments in the construction of new onshore and offshore wind farms, plunged 19 per cent to €22.3bn due to technological cost reductions and lower offshore wind investments.

Wind Europe said 2017 was a record year for new capacity financing, with 11.5 gigawatts (GW) of new power potential reaching final investment decision (FID) across 200 projects in Europe.

The vast majority of those were in Germany and the UK, which together accounted for half of the new FIDs announced last year. This includes the 1.4 GW Hornsea 2 offshore wind farm in the UK.

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