Offshore Wind Industry Likely to Grow over Next Decade
A new market study by Emerging Energy Research (EER) has revealed that the offshore wind sector is likely to expand over the next decade, led by European utilities. The global installed base is expected to grow to nearly 45GW in 2020.
With large northern European utilities driving the industry forward in the short term, the stage is being set for North America and Asia offshore development as well, according to EER.
Asia and North America are currently looking to Europe for technology and cost benchmarking. Between 2010 and 2020, these two regions will contribute nearly 25% of the total new offshore capacity installed worldwide. In Europe, tapped-out onshore markets and higher capacity factors offshore are driving governments to incentivize the technology, providing support to drive industrial build-out, EER said.
EER expects Asia to tap its offshore markets in 2014, led by China and Korea. In North America, test projects in the US (deepwater wind) and Canada (NaiKun) may come to fruition by 2012, with over 6GW projected by 2020.
Eduard Vedruna, senior wind analyst at EER, said: "The global offshore wind energy industry's entry into the next decade will be marked by concrete progress built on the past 10 years of moving along the learning curve.
"While the global offshore market has been slow to take off due to cost and logistical challenges ¨C climbing from 70MW installed to 1.5GW over the past eight years ¨C the industry is now scaling thanks to increased focus on offshore by Europe utilities."
According to EER, utilities own 90% of the 20GW of offshore projects in the pipeline in Europe, many of which are now moving to procure turbines and define engineering, procurement, and construction strategies for project execution. Northern Europe players, mainly German utilities, have the most aggressive expansion plans in terms of megawatts and geographic diversity of their pipelines.
Europe's offshore wind industry has rapidly evolved into a consolidated market mainly in the North Sea, with onshore competition moving offshore as utility players build portfolios, EER added.
(energy-business-review.com Dec. 2009)