It has shone in solar and onshore wind, but Southern Europe has long been in the north’s shadow when it comes to offshore wind. That looks set to change.

The Mediterranean’s first offshore wind farm, the long-delayed 30MW Beleolico, is now spinning off Taranto, Italy, in a development that is also notable for the debut of Chinese turbines in the EU.

Beleolico’s commissioning comes as a clutch of southern nations lay plans to get projects in the water, including Greece, Spain, Portugal and France, with floating wind seen as pivotal to meeting Brussels' stretching targets for the sector.

Although further south off North Africa, Spain’s Canaries are set to play a crucial role in the evolution of floating in Southern Europe and globally, senior Equinor executives told Recharge in an exclusive interview as they talked through their plans for deployment off the islands and further afield.

The Canaries also featured as Recharge reported that Eni-owned clean energy outfit Plenitude has taken a 25% stake in pioneering floating wind technology developer EnerOcean – which tested a prototype off the islands and plans a pilot plant there – as part of longer-view ambitions at the Italian utility to have some 15GW renewable plant operating by the end of the decade.

Southern Europe’s growing offshore wind profile is mirrored by a fast-emerging status as a globally significant hub of green hydrogen initiatives, particularly in Iberia where Recharge revealed this week that almost 12GW of renewable H2 projects have been unveiled in the last three months alone.

It was another testing week for wind OEM giant Siemens Gamesa, which again had to summon financial analysts for a short-notice briefing as it revealed that financial guidance for 2022 set as recently as January is under review amid ongoing external pressures and internal problems around the ramp-up of its 5.X onshore platform.

Jochen Eickholt, who has undergone a baptism of fire since taking over as CEO in March, explained how “after decades of stability” the whole sector was in the midst of a painful period of adjustment for an era of inflation.

Amid the negatives, there was at least one upside for Siemens Gamesa as it banked €580m ($627m) for the sale of its southern European development assets to UK utility SSE, which said it will use the portfolio as a springboard for expansion into the region.

As the dust settled, analysts at Deutsche Bank reckoned the latest downbeat news shortened the odds on a full takeover of the OEM by majority shareholder Siemens Energy.

The biggest names in the energy transition write for Recharge, and this week saw Bert Nordberg, chairman of global wind power giant Vestas, explain how the gathering array of challenges facing the world – the climate emergency, soaring energy prices, war – should prompt greater recognition of the true value of renewables.

Maybe that message will have some resonance in France this weekend, where voters will choose between incumbent Emmanuel Macron and an opponent in Marine Le Pen who has said she would not just stop building, but actually start taking down, wind and solar arrays. A Recharge View opinion article argues that while a Macron victory is crucial, the threat to France’s and Europe’s green agenda won’t stop with a Le Pen defeat.