Potential for €300 billion in offshore wind capital expenditure in next decade

Cumulative offshore wind capacity is forecast to reach 57GW, driven by the continued development of established markets such as the UK, Germany and China and bolstered by emerging markets including the US and France.
Potential for €300 billion in offshore wind capital expenditure in next decade

These are amongst the findings of the new sixth edition of the Douglas-Westwood World Offshore Wind Market Forecast which provides a ten year view of the sector through to 2024.

“Over 5.3GW of capacity is expected to be installed in 2015, with additions anticipated to remain on an upward trend, peaking at 7.5GW in 2020," said report author Rachel Stonehouse. "Capital Expenditure will total €240 billion between 2015 and 2024. However, these figures only include projects which have passed the conceptual phase of development, resulting in a large potential for upside post-2020, totalling some €60 billion.

“The UK will install more than 11GW over the next ten years, with most of this expected to occur by 2022, as Round 3 developments take place. Germany will also install over 11GW, with a longer term outlook predicting its activity levels will recover in 2018 following a slowdown in 2016-17. China is expected to install over 8GW of capacity – this is lower than previously targeted, but still represents a strong growth market," she said.

Emerging markets include countries such as the US and France, which are expected to have their first operational wind farms in 2015 and 2017 respectively. The US is expected to install 1.8GW of offshore capacity over the next decade, and France 3.2GW. Other emerging markets include some with historically low levels of offshore wind activity, such as Sweden, Denmark and Belgium.

“Capital costs have reduced recently, predominantly due to the larger sizes of turbines installed, resulting in less infrastructure (such as support structures) being required," Stonehouse said. "This upsizing presents new challenges for installation contractors but should result in lower operational expenditures once wind farms become operational. However, offshore wind remains reliant on government intervention or incentives to be commercially viable. Further standardisation and collaboration needs to occur, in order to reduce costs across the supply chain.”

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Douglas Westwood

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