DW: Offshore wind capacity to reach 74GW by 2025

Cumulative offshore wind capacity is forecast to reach 74GW, driven by a large number of developments taking place in the UK, Germany and China and strengthened by the growth of new entrants to the offshore wind sector, such as France and the US, according to the new Douglas-Westwood (DW) World Offshore Wind Market Forecast through 2025.

Following a strong year of offshore wind activity in 2015 (3.8GW installed), capacity installed will dip in 2016 to 1.5GW. However, capacity will return to an upward trend, peaking at 9.2GW in 2022. Capital expenditure (Capex) on projects which have surpassed the conceptual stage of development will total €200 billion (bn) between 2016 and 2025, with potential upside of €70bn (expected Capex).

Capital costs have reduced in recent years, predominantly due to the larger sizes of turbines installed, resulting in less infrastructure (such as foundations) being required per MWh generated. This upsizing presents new challenges for installation contractors but should result in lower operational expenditures once wind farms become operational.

The UK will add circa 10GW of capacity over the next decade, with most of this activity expected to occur by 2022, as Round 3 developments take place. Germany will also install over 10GW but has a longer term outlook, with activity levels peaking in 2021. China is expected to install over 10GW of capacity, lower than previously expected but still representing a strong growth market.
Emerging markets include countries such as the USA and France, who are expected to have their first operational wind farms in 2016 and 2017 respectively. The US is expected to install 1.8GW of offshore capacity over the next decade, and France 3.2GW.

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