The number of new offshore wind installations in Europe went down sharply in the first half of 2016, but investment grew to a record €14 billion, promising higher growth in the coming years. Siemens installed all 114 new turbines in Europe in 2016 and has a global market share of 64%, according to new reports from WindEurope and PlanetOS.
Mixed news from the offshore wind front. The volume of new grid-connected installations in Europe in the first half of 2016 was only 511 MW, 78% less than the same period in 2015, reports Wind Europe, formerly the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA). Remarkably, all of the 114 turbines that together made up this total were supplied by German manufacturer Siemens. The new grid connections happened in just two countries: the Netherlands and Germany. Dong Energy of Denmark was the number 1 developer with a 25% share (129 MW).
If these numbers are disappointing, the good news is that the European offshore wind industry attracted a record €14 billion in new investment in the first half of 2016. Seven projects reached final investment decision (FID), with a total capacity of 3.7 GW. This is a doubling compared to a year earlier. The UK accounted for nearly three-quarters of this investment.
As of 30 June, 3344 offshore wind turbines were installed in Europe, across 82 wind farms in 11 countries, with a combined capacity of 11.538 GW. Over 90% of the world’s capacity is in Europe.
Wind Europe’s semi-annual report does not contain a long-term outlook, but the organisation has a “Central Scenario” which foresees 66 GW of offshore wind installed in Europe in 2030. However, Giles Dickson, CEO of WindEurope notes in a press release that “there are a lot of challenges out there still … Not least the uncertainty over future volumes and regulation in many key markets for the period after 2020. We’re a long way from being able to say job done on offshore wind.”
In June, energy ministers from 9 European countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and Work Programme to enhance their cooperation on offshore wind. In parallel 11 energy companies signed a declaration to reduce offshore wind costs to below €80/MWh by 2025, notes Wind Europe. This assumes an annual build-out of 4-7 GW of offshore wind from 2021 onwards. Dickson notes that “The costs of offshore wind are falling, but we need healthy volumes in the market to sustain this. The current pipeline of projects is not enough, and the commitments Member States have so far made for beyond 2020 fall well short of what’s needed. This risks undermining Europe’s competitive position in offshore wind. We’re number one today with over 90% of the world’s capacity, but the US and China are now moving to rapidly expand their offshore wind investments.”
For a detailed, up-to-date global overview of the offshore wind market, see this report published by the US data infrastructure company Planet OS on 18 August. Planet OS notes that 2016 will finally see the commissioning of the first offshore wind farm in the US, a small 30 MW wind farm off the coast of Rhode Island. At this moment, proposals have been submitted to build nearly 4.9 GW of offshore wind capacity off the coasts of nine states, mostly in the North East.
China had a cumulative installed capacity of 1 GW at the end of 2015, 57% more than a year earlier. Development in China is expected to accelerate in 2017. Japan had an installed capacity of just 53 MW by the end of 2015, reports Planet OS. Some 1.4 GW of capacity is in planning. Taiwan has to demonstration sites under construction (with Siemens wind turbines) and has a target of 3 GW by 2030.
Globally, Dong Energy is the largest developer of offshore wind farms, with a market share of 16%, followed by Eon, RWE and Vattenfall with each 9%. Siemens has a market share of 64% in turbines.
Source: Planet OS