A floating wind turbine is an offshore wind turbine mounted on a floating structure that allows the turbine to generate electricity in water depths where fixed-foundation turbines are not feasible. The floating offshore wind power market is expected to witness exceptional growth at a CAGR of over 50%, due to rising energy demand coupled with the increasing share of renewables in the power generation mix. However, the technological advances and cost reductions already achieved within the bottom-fixed wind turbines has been hindering the growth of the market.
- As of 2019, the floating wind market consists almost solely of Hywind Scotland’s 30 MW park. Estimates show that the technical potential for floating wind power is 6959 GW for Europe, USA and Japan combined. Major company accompanied by countries and plan to push high investment in deep water offshore wind energy due to low electricity cost from wind power plant. This in turn, expected to drive the deep-water offshore wind power market during the forecast period.
- Moreover, the integration of artificial intelligence, internet of things, robotics, and data analytics in offshore wind power will enable advanced condition monitoring and predictive maintenance which result in increased efficiency and reduced operational and maintenance costs, which is likely to provide opportunity to a growth in the deployment of floating offshore wind firm in coming future.
- Europe is expected to be the largest floating offshore wind power market, and likely to grow further during the forecast period.
Key Market Trends
Deepwater Deployment to Drive the Market
- As demand for energy is rising, major countries and companies are turning towards the adoption of renewable energy as it’s the ability to provide clean energy. The adoption of offshore wind energy with advance technology attracted the countries and companies for high investment. Furthermore, Japan likely to expend its installed capacity up to 3.5 GW by 2030, followed by 2.9 GW in France, 2 GW in the US and finally 1,9 in Ireland/UK. These in turn likely to drive the market during the forecast period.
- By location of deployment, the deepwater is expected to remain the driver of the offshore wind turbine industry investments during the forecast period, owing to declining costs and improved technology for deployment of wind power plant in deepwater region.
- After installation of a world-first floating offshore wind power farm in the North Sea in 2017, major companies started investing in floating offshore wind power farms. In 2019, globally there are 13 announced floating offshore wind projects (nine in Europe – the UK, Portugal and France, three in Asia – Japan and Korea and one in the US).
- Moreover, in 2019 The US Department of Energy has announced up to $28 million in funding for upcoming new floating offshore wind turbines via the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy program, Aerodynamic Turbines, Lighter and Afloat, with Nautical Technologies and Integrated Servo-control.
- Besides this recently, the companies have been able to install taller wind turbines due to improvements in the wind turbine materials used, which allows the turbines to exploit higher altitude winds. Also, these new turbines have larger blades and, hence, are able to sweep more area than the smaller turbines. The growing size of the wind turbines has helped lower the cost of wind energy, indicating that it is economically competitive with fossil fuel alternatives, in some locations such as the United States, Germany, France, etc.
- These trend is expected to continue over the forecst period, driving the offshore wind power market, globally.
Europe to Dominate the Market Growth
- Europe holds the highest share of offshore wind energy installation capacity in 2018. According to European Union, Europe represents only a quarter of global installations of the total wind market, Europe (primarily North Sea countries) is likely to be at the helm of the offshore wind market worldwide until 2020, followed by China. Considering all new expected additions between 2017-2020, wind power will account for more than half of new renewable energy installations during that period in the EU (Wind 52%, Solar PV 37%, Bioenergy 7%, Hydro 4%).
- Although 84% of the total offshore wind installations are in the European waters, the governments of the European region, particularly in the North Sea area have set an ambitious target for the installation of offshore wind farms in their respective territorial waters. The UK has the highest share of offshore wind capacity (48.1%) that has received government consent to construct, followed by Germany (24.6%), Sweden (8%), and Denmark (4.6%).
- Furthermore, in 2018 The European Commission has agreed to provide aid to four French floating wind demonstration projects with a total installed capacity of 24 MW, each consisting of three or four turbines. Besides this, the commercialization of floating offshore wind has begun in Europe. Two European projects aiming to advance floating offshore wind technologies marked milestones, floating offshore wind farms received a significant boost from a European Union innovation fund. In 2018, the European Investment Bank (EIB) granted EUR 60 million loans (USD 68 million) to WindPlus, a joint venture of EDP Renewables, Repsol and Principle Power, for the construction of a 25 MW floating wind farm off the northern coast of Portugal.
- These recent trends, in turn, is expected to present Europe as an excellent business destination for players involved in the floating offshore wind farm business during the forecast period.
The floating offshore wind power market is moderately fragmented due to many companies operating in the industry. The key players in this market include MHI Vestas Offshore Wind A/S, General Electric Company, ABB Ltd., Siemens AG, Doosan Heavy Industries and Construction Co., Ltd, Nexans S.A., Eew Group, A2 SEA, Adwen, Senvion SA.
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