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EGEB: Europe’s North Sea is getting a huge floating wind turbine

In today’s Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB):

  • A large floating offshore wind turbine project is under way in the North Sea.
  • HSBC: Green stocks are more resilient during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Green energy made up 52% of Germany’s power consumption during the first quarter of 2020.

The Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB): A daily technical, financial, and political review/analysis of important green energy news.

A new (and huge) floating offshore wind turbine

A consortium headed by Spanish company Iberdrola announced this week that it is developing a large floating offshore wind turbine in the North Sea. The consortium is made up of companies from Denmark, France, Germany, Norway, and Spain.

The turbine will be more than 10MW, and the project will be tested at the Marine Energy Test Centre in Norway. According to CNBC, “The average size of offshore turbines installed in 2019 was 7.8MW, according to trade body WindEurope.”

Construction of the project’s floating platform is expected to commence in the second quarter of 2021, with installation starting in the first quarter of 2022.

Hywind Scotland (pictured) was the world’s first floating wind farm, and the 30MW farm went live in 2017. As Electrek reported in October 2017:

Floating wind is being developed because 80% of the Europe’s wind resources are located in water too deep for traditional fixed bottom wind turbines to reach. Additionally, just west of Europe, in the North Atlantic, there is enough wind to power the entire world.

Here’s a cool video that shows us how Hywind came together, giving us a glimpse of the newest project to come:

The Global Wind Energy Council says it is too soon to predict the extent of how the coronavirus will impact the forecast of continued growth in the wind industry.

Green stocks are more resilient

It’s increasingly evident, during the coronavirus pandemic, that not only is COVID-19 and the economy tightly wound together, but green energy and the environment are also in the mix.

According to a new report from banking giant HSBC, “Shares of companies focused on climate change or ESG issues — environmental, social, and governance — outperformed as the virus spread.”

HSBC says that companies with good governance and exposure to long-term growth markets such as green technology will better be able to endure short-term hardships such as the coronavirus.

Ashim Paun, co-head of ESG research at HSBC, wrote:

The climate-focused stocks outperformed others by 7.6% from December and by 3% since February. The ESG shares beat others by about 7% for both periods.

HSBC’s Climate Solutions Database has four divisions: Environment & Land Use Management, Low Carbon & Energy Production, Energy Efficiency & Energy Management, and Climate Finance. All beat the markets over both periods — Low Carbon by more than 11% since 20 December.

Business Green points out that HSBC’s latest analysis is one of many other analyses that “consistently shown how firms with strong ESG ratings tend to outperform their peers.”

Germany’s green energy

Green energy made up 52% of Germany’s power consumption during the first quarter of 2020, compared to 44.4% in the same quarter in 2019. The preliminary data was supplied by solar and hydrogen research centre Baden-Württemberg (ZSW) and the German federation of energy and water industries (BDEW).

According to Recharge, this was due to a mixture of very strong winds due to February storms, above-average sunshine in March, and a lower power demand — a fall of 1% compared to the same time last year — due to the coronavirus. Industrial production declined in the last week of March due to the pandemic.

Renewables have priority over fossil fuels in the German grid, and some fossil-fuel power plants were closed in late 2019.

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Avatar for Michelle Lewis Michelle Lewis

Michelle Lewis is a writer and editor on Electrek and an editor on DroneDJ, 9to5Mac, and 9to5Google. She lives in St. Petersburg, Florida. She has previously worked for Fast Company, the Guardian, News Deeply, Time, and others. Message Michelle on Twitter or at Check out her personal blog.