Offshore wind power ready for take off
The global offshore wind energy market is expected to increase more than fivefold by 2020, according to a new report by research consultant GlobalData.
That equates to a projected global output of 39.9 Gigawatts - an annual growth rate of 28% over the next six years.
The uptick will be driven mainly by the UK, Germany and China who have a number of offshore wind projects in the pipeline.
GlobalData's power analyst Swati Singh said: "Offshore wind power is increasingly being explored for its high yield, due to stronger and more consistent winds compared to onshore, and the scope that this provides for the construction of large-scale projects.
"An additional benefit is the fact that future offshore wind power technology development will ensure a decline in the average cost per megawatt, although overall project costs are expected to rise in countries with wind farms planned in deeper water and further from the shore."
According to Singh, the main obstacles hindering market growth are environmental concerns such as the impact on marine life, as well as the lack of skilled personnel and sophisticated technology catering to offshore requirements.
"Despite these barriers, GlobalData expects offshore wind's share in the global wind power market to climb from 2.2% in 2013 to 6.1% by 2020, as more countries eye the advantages of this renewable energy technology," said Singh.
Another report released this month by GlobalData charts the UK's continued dominance in offshore wind power, having owned a 52% share of the international market last year.