EUROPE invested €27 billion (£23.3bn) in new wind farms in 2018 to help finance a record amount of future new wind energy capacity, according to new figures.

WindEurope’s annual Financing and Investment Trends report published yesterday said that while the amount was similar to previous years, cost reductions, especially in offshore wind, meant it would finance a record 16.7GW of new wind capacity.

The group said 1MW of new onshore wind capacity now requires only €1.4 million (£1.2m) capital expenditure, down from €2m (£1.7m) in 2015, while 1MW of new offshore wind capacity requires €2.5m (£2.1m), down from €4.5m (£3.8m) in 2015. Most of the investments last year for future new capacity were for onshore wind – 12.5GW – and while offshore wind accounted for 4.2GW, it attracted 38.5% of the amounts invested. A total of 190 wind farms across 22 European countries reached a final investment decision (FID) last year, with northern and western Europe still accounting for most new investments. Among those reaching FID in the UK, were the Moray East (950MW), development in the Moray Firth and Triton Knoll (860 MW) in the North Sea off Lincolnshire.

The UK was the biggest investor, mostly in offshore wind and Sweden was second, while investments in southern and central and eastern Europe were only 4% of the total.

WindEurope expected Spain and Poland to pick up this year.

It said €24.1bn (£20.8bn) was invested in the acquisition of wind farms, including projects which were under development and of companies involved in wind energy – a higher figure than in previous years.

Investors were becoming more confident about wind energy and could more accurately price risk and invest earlier, helped by the maturity and competitiveness of the sector.

WindEurope CEO Giles Dickson said: “Wind energy got 60% of all the new investments in power generation capacity in Europe last year. And it was a record year for the amount of new wind energy capacity financed.

“The money is out there. But there aren’t enough bankable projects.”