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UK Emerges as global offshore wind power market leader

Published:  30 September, 2014

Supported by aggressive renewable targets, policy backing and a shift towards a greener climate, the UK propelled itself to the head of the global offshore wind power market in 2013, boasting a cumulative installed capacity share of around 52%, according to research and consulting firm GlobalData.

The company’s latest report states that the UK’s cumulative offshore wind power installed capacity increased from just over 0.3 Gigawatts (GW) in 2006 to 3.7 GW in 2013, at an impressive Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 42.9%.

With installations expected to increase from 3.7 GW to 11 GW by 2020, at a CAGR of 16.9%, the UK will remain the leading offshore wind power market by the end of the forecast period, boasting a 36.4% share of the global cumulative offshore installed capacity.

Swati Singh, GlobalData’s analyst covering Power, commented: “The UK’s growing concerns over climate change and the security of its energy system will provide sufficient impetus for the country’s offshore wind industry to continue its growth trajectory. The last decade has seen offshore wind progress from an immature to a proven technology, which is expected to contribute significantly to the achievement of the UK’s renewable targets.”

The government has set a target for 15% of the UK’s energy to be generated from renewable sources by 2020. As offshore wind power currently contributes around 3% of the country’s total energy generation, GlobalData expects to see more investment into the industry to help achieve this goal.

Singh explains: “Overall project costs have risen as a result of increasing water depths, distance from the shore and average turbine size. With a number of UK installations anticipated between 2016 and 2020, annual investment in the market will jump from $3.3 billion in 2013 to $7.53 billion by 2020.”

According to GlobalData, Siemens dominates the global offshore wind turbine cumulative installations. The company was the largest offshore wind turbine manufacturer in 2013, having accounted for almost 56.5% of the world’s cumulative installed capacity that year.

Siemens maintained its market-leading position in the UK in the same year, achieving 100% of the country’s new offshore installations and claiming a massive 73.3% share of its cumulative installed capacity.

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