Global offshore wind to grow fivefold says report

The global offshore wind market is expected to increase more than fivefold from 7.1 GW in 2013 to 39.9 GW by 2020, according to a new report.

The study from research firm GlobalData states that the global offshore wind sector saw substantial growth between 2006 and 2013, rising from 0.9 GW to 7.1 GW in this period. Of this, 1.6 GW came online in 2013, driven mainly by the UK, Germany, Denmark and Belgium.

GlobalData says offshore wind is now expected to become one of the largest renewable power market segments by 2020 and adds that the UK, Germany and China will “contribute significantly towards this, thanks to a number of projects currently in the planning and construction stages”.

Swati Singh, GlobalData’s power analyst, said: “Offshore wind power is increasingly being explored for its high yield, due to stronger and more consistent winds compared to onshore, and the scope that this provides for the construction of large-scale projects.

“An additional benefit is the fact that future offshore wind power technology development will ensure a decline in the average cost per megawatt, although overall project costs are expected to rise in countries with wind farms planned in deeper water and further from the shore.”

According to Singh, the main obstacles that will hinder market growth are environmental concerns, as well as the lack of skilled personnel and sophisticated technology catering to offshore requirements.

But the analyst added: “Despite these barriers, GlobalData expects offshore wind’s share in the global wind power market to climb from 2.2 per cent in 2013 to 6.1 per cent by 2020, as more countries eye the advantages of this renewable energy technology.”

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