The European offshore wind industry has been a darling of the global industry for some time now, with countries such as the UK and Germany pioneering massive amounts of offshore energy. However, according to new analysis from MAKE, even with a healthy 2015 ahead, the European offshore wind industry may be heading towards a 2016 cliff.
Over the past couple of weeks, MAKE has released several offshore wind power analyses to subscribers, including additions to its global offshore wind power project database, with over 900 listed projects across the Americas, Europe, Middle East & Africa, and Asia Pacific regions.
Late last week, MAKE also provided an analysis of Europe’s short-term expectations.
Over the past 5 years, the global grid-connected capacity for offshore wind power has grown to more than 9 GW, and 2.3 GW of offshore is expected to be connected in 2014. And even though expectations are that 2015 growth will decline slightly over past years, MAKE still expects 2015 to “be yet another record year for the offshore wind industry.”
2015 is expected to see 51% growth, but even sustained growth in the Asia Pacific region will not be able to make up for the sharp drop expected in the UK and Germany in 2016.
2016 is shaping up to be the outlier, however, with growth expected to grow at an annual rate of 22% from 2014 to 2023, by which time total offshore wind capacity is expected to have grown to 82 GW globally.
The sharp decline of Europe’s involvement in the global offshore wind sector will be proven by the APAC region, which will have reached 40.4 GW, surpassing Europe’s 39.4 GW.
Unsurprisingly, China is expected to be the main driver for offshore wind growth in the Asia Pacific region, but Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan will also make sizeable contributions.
Earlier this year, consulting firm GlobalData predicted that the global offshore wind market was going to reach 40 GW by 2020.
“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,” said Swati Singh, GlobalData’s Analyst covering Power.
“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.”
In June, Carbon Trust publicly suggested that China take its cues for developing its own offshore wind industry from the UK’s extensive research, funding, and deployment expertise. As a result, the Chinese Wind Energy Association and CECEP Wind-Power Corporation teamed up with the British Embassy in Beijing to investigate ways the Chinese offshore wind industry could scale up its capabilities quickly.
MAKE believes that Europe’s contribution will average between 3 GW and 5 GW from 2017 to 2023, thanks to national and EU policies, while the Americas and the US are only expected to add 2.2 GW worth of offshore wind by 2023.
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