The global offshore wind market will almost double installed capacity to 34 GW by 2020, according to the latest forecast by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF).
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Between 2017 and 2025 the offshore wind market is forecast to grow at a 19% compound annual growth rate, reaching cumulative capacity of 71 GW in 2025, BNEF wind analyst Keegan Kruger said in the report.
China will be the fastest-growing region outside the core markets in Europe around the North Sea, it added.
Installations in China will surpass those in the UK and Germany in 2022 accounting for a third of the total market by 2030 with offshore wind turbine companies like MHI Vestas looking to gain a foothold in the region, the BNEF analyst said.
Growth in Europe will remain concentrated on North Sea states with the UK and Germany alone accounting for over 50% of global installed capacity by 2020, it said.
Including Denmark, Belgium and the Netherlands, installed capacity across those core North Sea states will rise above 30 GW by 2023, the report shows.
That is up from 12.6 GW grid-connected offshore wind capacity in European waters by end-2016, according to lobby group WindEurope.
Beside turbine makers like MHI Vestas, Siemens, GE and Senvion, oil majors such as Shell and Statoil are also starting to look for future growth outside Europe, company managers said at an industry conference in London in June.
Shell's executive VP for new energies, Mark Gainsborough, described offshore wind as the potential energy backbone for Northwestern Europe, but called for bigger leases for megaprojects of at least above 1 GW.
At the conference, key stakeholders from the European offshore wind industry called upon policy makers to guarantee a stable project pipeline beyond 2020 to ensure further cost reductions.
According to the lobby group, the industry has been on a steep cost reduction curve and has met its target of Eur100/MWh by 2020 ahead of time mainly due to rising turbine sizes.
In favorable locations across Northwestern Europe, offshore wind costs could drop to Eur54/MWh based on turbine sizes rising to 13-15 MW, it said.
Last year, offshore developers in Europe grid-connected 1.5 GW and secured investment of over $20 billion to add a further 5 GW, WindEurope said back in January forecasting that Europe will reach 25 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2020.
--Andreas Franke, email@example.com