As nations start getting serious about sustainability efforts, it is expected that offshore wind energy will experience rapid growth and play a big role in the future of clean energy.
According to a new report from Roland Berger, it is expected that global investment in offshore wind power will reach â‚¬130 billion by 2020 as countries work toward boosting energy security and reducing emissions.
In Europe, offshore wind investment is currently at â‚¬7 billion a year, and is expected to reach â‚¬14 billion by 2020. Most of it will be in the UK, which is currently the worldâ€™s largest offshore wind market. The Asia Pacific region is a small but potentially mighty force in the industry, expected to increase investments from â‚¬1.6 billion to â‚¬5 billion by 2020.
One of the biggest points of the report is also that if wind is to become truly competitive, it will need to cut costs by about 30%, from â‚¬0.14 per kilowatt hour to â‚¬0.09 per kilowatt hour. A move like this could make or break whether countries continue investing any effort or money into offshore wind.
Another important factor that the industry depends on for growth is the US Production Tax Credit, which allowed the industry to grow by 28% in 2012 and, as we’ve previously reported, has since been extended. The uncertainty of whether it would be extended caused a giant jump in projects in the last quarter of the year, which was responsible for a good chunk of that year’s onshore wind growth in the U.S.
Perhaps even more countries will provide tax credits and incentives if it proves to be a success in the United States. Either way, it looks like offshore wind is growing at an encouraging rate and will remain a strong force in the renewable energy industry.
Image CC licensed byÂ Vattenfall: Horns rev wind farm in Denmark