With more countries utilizing offshore wind potential, the global offshore wind power market is expected to increase more than fivefold from 7.1 GW in 2013 to 39.9 GW by 2020, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 28%, according to research and consulting firm GlobalData.
The company's latest report states that the global offshore wind space registered substantial growth between 2006 and 2013, rising from 0.9 GW in 2006 to 7.1 GW in 2013, at a higher CAGR of 33.9%. Of this, 1.6 GW came online in 2013, driven mainly by the U.K., Germany, Denmark and Belgium.
The report says offshore wind is now expected to become one of the largest renewable power market segments by 2020. The U.K., Germany and China will contribute significantly toward this, thanks to a number of projects currently in the planning and construction stages.
"Offshore wind power is increasingly being explored for its high yield, due to stronger and more consistent winds compared to onshore, and the scope that this provides for the construction of large-scale projects," explains Swati Singh, GlobalData's analyst covering power.
"An additional benefit is the fact that future offshore wind power technology development will ensure a decline in the average cost per megawatt, although overall project costs are expected to rise in countries with wind farms planned in deeper water and further from the shore," Singh continues.
According to the report, the main obstacles that will hinder market growth are environmental concerns, as well as the lack of skilled personnel and sophisticated technology catering to offshore requirements.
Despite these barriers, GlobalData expects offshore wind's share in the global wind power market to climb from 2.2% in 2013 to 6.1% by 2020, as more countries eye the advantages of the technology.