The figures come from Globaldata, an international research and consulting firm.

The 2,000 MW mark is an almost fourfold increase over 2014 for Germany, while the UK will remain relatively stagnant, projecting to add 801 MW in 2015, a 1.5% drop from 2014.

The UK will even slip down further to third place in the rankings, as China surges into second position with 817 MW in 2015.

GlobalData analyst Ankit Mathur said: “Germany’s huge increase in offshore installations is attributable to several offshore wind projects scheduled to come online in 2015. China is also planning an array of offshore wind projects this year, which will see it overtake the UK for annual installations.

“Additionally, the next few years will see China maintain its annual offshore wind installations around the 1 Gigawatt mark, while the UK will observe relatively lower installations until 2018, when the country’s next offshore growth spurt is expected.”

Industry boom

The GlobalData figures also look back at 2014, highlighting the rapid growth of the entire industry. Order intake for offshore wind turbines rose at a blockbuster rate of 367%, from 288 MW in 2013 to 1,346 MW in 2014.

Despite the expected installation slow-down, the UK is still far and away the biggest market in the world for offshore wind with 55% of all European capacity. Even with expected surge, cumulative German capacity will be around 3,100 MW compared to 5,300 in the UK.

And operators certainly view the UK as a fertile market, with French turbine manufacturer Vergnet announcing on Wednesday, the opening of a UK subsidiary.

A Vergnet spokesperson said: “The last five years have seen major growth for medium wind projects here [in the UK] with capacity rising 60% year-on-year. This has been supported by the government’s Feed-In Tariff (FiT) which remains attractive and offers strong returns.”

Brad Allen

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