Offshore wind power is increasingly strong

Until now, the development of the wind energy market was mainly supported by onshore wind farm projects. Nevertheless, within a few years offshore wind farm installations will play the most important role.

The latter is stated in the report entitled Offshore Wind Farm Manufacturing Worldwide compiled by SBI Energy (an American market analysis company specialized in energy).

“Our analysts project that total offshore installed capacity will grow at an astounding 92% compound annual growth rate during the next five years to reach more than 79,700 megawatts,” says Shelley Carr, publisher for SBI Energy.

According to this study, in the next 5 years offshore wind power capacity will increase at an average rate of 92% per year, reaching in 2015 a total installed capacity of approximately 80,000 MW, exceeding the onshore market for annual investments.

This surpassing performance is partly due to specific incentive policies – favoured by the fact that offshore larger wind farms can be installed with fewer social acceptance issues – as well as to technological innovation.

In fact, thanks to the latter, wind turbines of offshore wind farm plants can be more powerful and, at the same time, more resistant to strong winds and harsh marine environment. This means that efficiency increases while costs decrease, particularly those regarding maintenance.

In several countries, wind farm projects already account for a significant percentage of the installed wind power capacity. In India and China, for example, respectively 20% and 17% of wind farms are offshore.

China is also currently a world leader in the marketing of offshore wind turbines, with a percentage of 61%, and this country keeps on attracting investments from a large number of multinational wind energy corporations, which are implementing new production plants in this country.

The current $47 billion total for offshore wind manufacturing represents 8% of the combined $566 billion global offshore and land-based wind energy manufacturing industry, a solid performance considering the challenges of financing offshore wind farms due to the lingering financial crisis.