Offshore Wind Energy Installation Vessels Will See Global Market Value Soar to $2.93 Billion

The global market value for offshore wind turbine and foundation installation vessels will increase more than fivefold, from an estimated $0.56 billion in 2014 to approximately $2.93 billion by 2020, representing an impressive Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 30%, says research and consulting firm GlobalData.

The company’s latest report* states that increasing installations will be the primary driver of market growth, as annual global offshore wind power capacity is forecast to rise rapidly from 1.78 Gigawatts (GW) in 2014 to approximately 7.85 GW by 2020.

Prasad Tanikella, GlobalData’s Senior Analyst covering Power, says: “Offshore wind projects are more expensive than their onshore counterparts because the structures are larger, the logistics involved in tower installation are more complex, and costs associated with foundations, construction, installation and grid connection are higher.

“Despite the higher project costs, offshore winds are more powerful and consistent, producing higher energy yields. Moreover, high offshore wind power potential and the unavailability of onshore wind power sites are forcing some countries to explore offshore options.”

Europe is by far the biggest market for offshore wind power, estimated to account for over 90% of global turbine installation vessel revenue in 2013, and GlobalData expects this market to see substantial future growth.

Despite the many projects currently planned or under construction in Europe, a limited number of offshore wind-specific installation vessels are operating at present, although this number will have increased from just two in 2005 to more than 40 by the end of 2014. Furthermore, new vessels are increasingly making installations more efficient.

Tanikella continues: “Future vessels will allow developers to shorten installation times with increased vessel crane capacity and additional deck space, enabling them to carry more turbines and reduce the number of trips from the onshore port to the offshore site.

“The new-build vessels are also expected to reduce weather downtime, as their design will allow them to operate in harsher conditions,” the analyst concludes.

*Offshore Vessels and Cables Market – Market Size, Competitive Landscape and Key Country Analysis to 2020.