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Global offshore wind market to spend €38bn

Energy business analysts Douglas-Westwood expects to see offshore wind expenditure of €38 billion over the next five years.

The findings form part of Douglas-Westwood’s The World Offshore Wind Market Report 2011-2015, which also outlines that annual expenditure by 2015 is expected to be in excess of €12bn for offshor wind.

These expectations reflect the 11 GW of new offshore wind capacity that is due to be installed over the five year period to 2015, compared to the 3 GW of wind capacity which will be online by the end of 2010.

Europe

The UK, Germany and China continue to be the three biggest offshore wind markets that together will install almost 9.3 GW, or 83%, of total global capacity for the period.

The UK will continue its position as the leading market for offshore wind through the next five years with over 4.4 GW of new capacity coming online, demonstrating the UK governments continued support for renewable energy and wind in particular.

The large offshore wind German market is coming to life with project construction finally underway and tendering ongoing on projects for the next five years. Elsewhere in Europe, the Netherlands is now showing commitment to the offshore wind sector, which should allow some of the many planned projects to reach construction.

China the next leader

“Whilst Europe has been the hot-spot of activity to date. We anticipate that China will become the world leader in offshore wind, overtaking the UK early in the next decade,” explains John Westwood, Chairman of Douglas-Westwood.

“Having entered the offshore wind industry only recently, the country has massive ambition. A succession of small projects is now underway with construction of many larger projects imminent. Over €3bn is expected to be spent in China over the next five years. With projects reaching completion in as little as three years (compared to typically 6 to 10 in Europe), there is significant upside potential here.

"Multiple domestic Chinese turbine manufacturers are releasing offshore turbines with little foreign involvement expected elsewhere in the supply chain.”

North America's Cape Wind

The report also explores the North American offshore wind market viewing the approval of the Cape Wind project as a visible sign as a visible sign of progress being made. However Westwood says that: “Supply chain development will be essential to avoid prohibitively expensive project costs.”

Also highlighted in the report is easing off of the rising costs seen in the offshore wind industry with evidence of small cost reductions on large projects towards the end of the period. Whilst large scale investment in the supply chain has taken place, it has been met by demand from project developers. With the ramp-up in construction expected to continue for much of the next five years any cost reduction will come slowly.

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