The global offshore wind sector brims with opportunity, challenge and risk. In this report WPO Intelligence strives to reduce the uncertainty by crystallising available knowledge in one place. Drawing on up-to-date news reporting, expert analysis and WPO Intelligence’s large repository of data, the report summarises offshore wind’s current state of affairs and provides an informed view of its prospects over the next decade. Multiple drivers are analysed, including policy, regulation, business climate, technology and geology.
In our Appendix, you will find WPO Intelligence’s forecast for installed offshore capacity to 2023. This is based on analysis of forecasts released by other organisations – including that released earlier this year by BTM for Navigant Research – the WPO Intelligence pipeline and our own assessment of how quickly we think certain projects will progress.
WPO Intelligence expects global capacity to exceed 73GW by 2023, with the UK and China installing about 17GW each between now and then. Germany should install more than 10GW, while the US market is expected to kick in over the next couple of years, installing some 850MW up to 2017 and then an average 1GW a year from 2018.
A robust analysis of the WPO Intelligence database of offshore wind projects has also enabled us to identify trends across a broad range of other dimensions: developer–supplier relationships, turbine and foundation technology, and location of projects by water depth and distance from shore, to name a few. As a shift has occurred in which countries dominate the industry, so too has the relative influence of equipment manufacturers. Siemens, the long-time leader among offshore wind turbine suppliers, will remain strong. But the data on known supply agreements point to a change in the firm’s clientele structure. And increasingly feisty competitors massing on the horizon. Our report examines in detail how this and other dynamics are set to play out, for example by developer, supplier, turbine model, drivetrain and generator technologies.
The ‘Global Offshore Wind Energy Forecast to 2023’ combines research by a global team of expert researchers with insight from the WPO Intelligence database of individual offshore wind farms – both in existence and in the pipeline. It applies robust data-mining techniques to identify trends among regions, countries and companies. It also weaves in a separate data set on turbine technology, which enables a refined analysis of technological trends. Information for the graphics and tables in this report is drawn exclusively from WPO Intelligence data.
For data analysis, we used a snapshot of the database taken on 16 May 2014. Information we may have learned after that date is not reflected in the report. Data were only drawn from ‘active’ projects – those categorised as being either operational (online) or ‘in progress’ and estimated to come online by 2023. A total 302 projects fit these criteria.