UK To Remain Offshore Wind Giant With Forecasted 23.2 GW By 2025, GlobalData

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The United Kingdom will remain the world’s dominant offshore wind energy giant, with 23.2 GW by 2025, according to GlobalData.

Research and consulting firm GlobalData published a report in June of this year which analyzed the global wind power market, and recently highlighted the role the United Kingdom (UK) will play in the global offshore wind market. According to GlobalData’s predictions, the UK will see its installed offshore wind capacity increase from 4.5 GW in 2014 to 23.2 GW in 2025.

London Array - The world's largest offshore wind farmIn 2014, the UK accounted for 51.3% of global offshore wind energy capacity, followed by Denmark and Germany with 14.5% and 11.9% respectively.

However, GlobalData believes that as offshore wind becomes a more prominent fixture in other countries’ renewable energy plans, the UK’s and Denmark’s share of offshore wind will decrease — down to 30.6% and 4.4% respectively, by the end of 2025. The US and China will see their share of the market increase (with China expected to see its installed offshore wind energy capacity reach 12.4 GW by 2025), as will Germany, which will see its share increase to 16.1% by the end of 2025.

A strong history of growth and a strong pipeline is at the heart of the UK’s offshore wind growth, but GlobalData is quick to highlight the current political instability affecting the country’s renewable energy industry as a potential future hazard.

“The UK government is aiming to achieve 18 GW of offshore wind capacity installations by 2020, based on the roadmap laid out by the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC),” explained Harshavardhan Reddy Nagatham, GlobalData’s Analyst covering Renewable Energy. “To incentivize project development, it is looking to reduce the generation cost by 30% to £100 ($152.2) per megawatt hour.

“Despite the higher costs of offshore wind compared to onshore, the government continues to support the former with contracts for difference, with the aim of achieving lower generation costs in the long term and the 18 GW installation target.”

The UK has already approved a number of offshore wind energy projects that are currently making the news with their progress, but since the introduction of the re-elected Conservative Government, the country’s Department of Energy and Climate Change has already declined the 970 MW Navitus Bay Offshore Wind Farm (not to mention four out of five onshore wind projects in Wales).

The UK is believed to possess Europe’s largest offshore wind resources, but without the political backing to make use of these resources the country’s position as global offshore wind energy leader could be in jeopardy. However, it is important to note that the UK Government, despite the current trend towards cutting support for numerous renewable energy sources — a move which has sent investors running for the hills — is intent on supporting offshore wind energy as one of those renewable energy technologies it believes has not received as much support as others.

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Joshua S Hill

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