Dec 19, 2012 - The offshore wind power sector is expected to show strong growth, with a total 18 GW of new installations in 2011-2016, Danish renewable energy specialist Make Consulting said in a recent report.
The sector is seen to register compound annual growth of 44% in the period, driven by favourable policy in Europe and China, according to the Offshore Wind Power Market 2012 report.
In 2011, offshore wind capacity of a total 470 MW was installed, according to data from BTM Consult.
The main growth driver for offshore wind power in 2011-2016 will be Europe, particularly Germany and the UK, which will seek to achieve their 2020 offshore targets of 18 GW and 10 GW, respectively.
According to Make Consulting, Asia-Pacific will stand for 36% of the global offshore market in 2011-2016, mainly driven by China but also by emerging markets such as South Korea and Taiwan. At the same time, the US, with its low gas and electricity prices, rich onshore resources and weak political support for renewables, is expected to be less active.
Make Consulting estimates that the levelised cost of energy (LCOE) could be cut by nearly 17% in the period, as the development of larger turbines will lead to fewer cables and foundations. By 2020, LCOE could drop by 20%.
Currently, German engineering group Siemens AG (ETR:SIE) is the world's leading supplier of offshore wind turbines. The company has been very successful with its 3.6-MW turbine and is currently developing a 6-MW machine.
Danish player Vestas Wind Systems A/S (CPH:VWS) is also working on a large offshore turbine, the V164-8.0 MW, which is expected to enter mass production in 2015.
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