New research released by energy business analysts Douglas-Westwood reveals the world offshore wind market will see expenditure of $60.7B over the next five years. By 2015, annual expenditure will be in excess of $19B.
With over 3GW of capacity online by the end of 2010 and a further 2GW under construction at present, the offshore wind industry is growing extremely quickly. Over the five year period to 2015, more than 11GW of new capacity will be installed. The UK, Germany and China are the three biggest markets, which together will install almost 9.3GW, or 83%, of total global capacity for the period.
The UK will continue its position as the leading market for offshore wind through the next five years with over 4.4GW of new capacity coming online. For the UK, the bigger success story is the momentum which is building in the supply chain with multiple offshore turbine manufacturers establishing themselves in the country. Critically, in the midst of big cuts to public spending, it has been made clear that government support for renewable energy and wind in particular is to continue.
Although the UK has helped build the momentum in recent years, the large German market is now coming to life with project construction finally underway and tendering ongoing on projects for the next five years. Elsewhere in Europe, the Netherlands is now showing commitment to the sector, which should allow some of the many planned projects to reach construction.
“While Europe has been the hot-spot of activity to date. We anticipate that China will become the world leader in offshore wind, overtaking the UK early in the next decade,” explains John Westwood, Chairman of Douglas-Westwood. “Having entered the offshore wind industry only recently, the country has massive ambition. A succession of small projects is now underway with construction of many larger projects imminent. Over €3 billion is expected to be spent in China over the next five years. With projects reaching completion in as little as three years (compared to typically six to ten in Europe), there is significant upside potential here. Multiple domestic Chinese turbine manufacturers are releasing offshore turbines with little foreign involvement expected elsewhere in the supply chain.
“The North American market is laying down the groundwork for the first commercial projects. The approval of the Cape Wind project is a visible sign of progress being made. Supply chain development will be essential to avoid prohibitively expensive project costs, however.”
The World Offshore Wind Market Report 2011-2015 highlights that the rising costs seen in the industry have now plateaued with evidence of small cost reductions on large projects towards the end of the period. Whilst large scale investment in the supply chain has taken place, it has been met by demand from project developers. With the ramp-up in construction expected to continue for much of the next five years any cost reduction will come slowly.