Wind energy is an attractive alternative to fossil fuels. It is plentiful, renewable, widely distributed, clean and produces no greenhouse gas emissions.
Onshore wind energy is a mature technology that is nevertheless undergoing continuous improvements. Currently, R&D is primarily focused on maximising the value of wind energy and on taking the technology offshore, where public opinion is more supportive of new wind farm installations. Although its share of total wind capacity remains small, the offshore wind sector saw another record year in 2013, with 1.6 GW of new capacity connected to the grid. Offshore wind power installations accounted for nearly 14% of total EU wind power installations in 2013, up 4% from 2012.
The trend for offshore wind farms is to build them further away from shore and in deeper water.