Offshore wind: From niche to mainstream energy business

The offshore wind industry has moved from being a niche technology to becoming a regular supplier of renewable energy. By 2030 European offshore wind can produce between 7% -11% of Europe's electricity demand, which is only a fraction of the potential in European pools. The report "Unleashing Europe's offshore wind potential", prepared by BVG Associates and Geospatial Enterprises on behalf of WindEurope, highlights the economically attractive potential in the North Sea, Baltic Sea and Atlantic Ocean.

The year 2030 foresight highlights:

  • Offshore wind may generate between 2,600 TWh and 6,000 TWh per year at a competitive cost of €65/MWh or below, representing 80% to 180% of the EU’s total electricity demand in the baseline and upside scenarios respectively.
  • In the most favourable EU locations 25% of the electricity demand can be met by offshore wind energy at an average cost of €54/MWh . 

The baseline scenario sets out a cumulative total capacity of 64 GW installed across the whole of Europe by the end of 2030. In the upside scenario, the cumulative total is 86 GW, and builds on governmental support to enable cost reductions and overcoming barriers to deployment, including grid access, funding support, site development and supply chain development.

Two key drivers will ensure cost reductions:

  • Lower financing costs due to lower perceived risk in the offshore wind business.
  • Turbine technology innovations enabling greater power output and higher reliability without increasing the cost per MW of capacity.

Download the report by clicking the link "Unleashing Europe's offshore wind potential".

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By Stig Marthinsen