During the next five years, the production of offshore wind farms will far outpace the production of land-based wind turbines around the world, according to ‘Offshore Wind Farm Manufacturing Worldwide,’ a report released by industrial market research firm SBI Energy.
Guiding the accelerated interest in offshore wind initiatives are government cash and tax incentives that promote renewable energy development, particularly in the U.S. and Europe. In addition, the ongoing improvement in the quality of offshore wind products that can withstand stronger gusts, reduce maintenance cycles and reduce shipping expenses of turbines to offshore job sites is also vital to the market's future, according to the report. Meanwhile, offshore wind manufacturers will fuel growth by finding ways to reduce costs associated with offshore projects, which will subsequently attract greater investment from governments and private energy companies.
The current $47 billion total for offshore wind manufacturing represents 8% of the combined $566 billion global offshore and land-based wind energy manufacturing industry, a solid performance, considering the challenges of financing offshore wind farms due to the lingering financial crisis.
Offshore manufacturing represents a sizable percentage of total wind energy manufacturing for several nations, including India (20%) and China (17%). However, the U.S. has thus far approached offshore manufacturing conservatively, with only 2% of its sales going toward offshore production.
China is currently the global leader in generating sales for offshore wind energy manufacturing initiatives, garnering a 61% share of the market. Not surprisingly, multinational manufacturers are responding to the rapid growth of China's offshore market by building turbine factories in the country. Europe-based companies lead the world in onshore wind energy manufacturing, with a 34% market share.
SOURCE: SBI Energy