Europe to lead global offshore wind power in the next decade

Europe to lead global offshore wind energy in the next decade. The European offshore wind turbines sector is clearly “in the driver’s seat” and will remain the world’s leading market for the next decade, says Peter Asmus, the senior analyst for an international market research firm.

Asmus said Monday that a new report by Pike Research shows that although the United States has begun to develop its offshore wind potential, China will be Europe’s main rival in the wind energy sector in the next 10 years. “The market for offshore wind farm in Europe is more developed than the North America wind power market because it takes advantage of a robust onshore wind turbines market and the resources put in place to maximise this renewable energy option,” Asmus said.

“Public policy is the prime driver, as European Union (EU) legislation requires greater carbon emissions reductions – and higher corresponding penetrations of renewable energy resources – by 2020.” Asmus added in a company blog that some of the world’s best wind turbines manufacturers and supply chain providers are based in Europe, adding a pooling of expertise that can offer synergies for offshore wind not available anywhere else in the world.

He made his comments several days after Pike Research, which is headquartered in Boulder, Colorado, published a report saying that investments in offshore wind power will increase by a factor of 17 in the next seven years. The new report found that investment in offshore wind power is expected to expand so rapidly in the next few years that total installed capacity will rise to more than 70 GW by 2017 from the 4.1 GW today.

Asmus said that in the United Kingdom 49 GW of offshore wind farm projects already have pre-approval, representing a potential investment of over $100 billion. “The Pike Research base scenario forecast assumes 12 GW of capacity will come online by 2017, a 42% compounded annual growth rate (CAGR),” Asmus said. “Pike Research estimates that the United Kingdom – the largest single market in the world – will be valued at $4.5 billion in power production revenue by 2017.”

He said the new research shows that Germany is the other EU nation that will lead in developing the offshore wind power market. “The Pike Research base scenario shows a CAGR of 66% and 9.5 GW of installed capacity for Germany,” he said. Asmus said Pike Research’s base scenario assumes 11.7 GW will come online in China by 2017, a CAGR of 70%, ranking it second behind the UK.

By Chris Rose,