Europe to smash offshore wind targets if consent is given

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1 May 2013, Nuclear, Solar, Wind

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In an upcoming report that examines the missed targets and future outlook of European offshore wind, Datamonitor has identified huge potential and various issues in 18 European countries for offshore wind development before 2020, many of which can exceed their National Renewable Energy Action Plan (NREAP) targets by a wide margin, if given consent to do so.

Despite being the largest offshore wind market in the world with 5.0GW of installed capacity at the end of 2012, Europe has not developed its wind farms at the rate required to meet its combined NREAP targets. A combined 2020 target of 44GW for European countries seems a long way off with all the issues that have been hampering developments, but there is potential to exceed this target many times over if these issues can be resolved.

Problems have plagued the offshore wind industry, causing delays to development and resulting in a startling figure of twice the volume of dormant and cancelled projects by installed capacity as projects that have received consent for development. While some countries have few or no dormant or cancelled projects, others have many times more failed or stagnated projects than projects that have received consent and proceeded into development.

Issues have ranged from grid connection disputes, negative public opinion and concerns about visual impacts, to radar interference and potential effects on birdlife. Many projects have also been unviable due to technical difficulties, deep water, and costs, while successful projects have also been hampered by a range of issues.

As projects move further offshore and into deeper waters, project lead times and costs could actually increase and technological advances and the scaling up of wind turbines and wind farms will be necessary to combat high levelized costs. However, lessons learned from early phases of development could increase the success rate of future projects, and it will be down to government support levels and the swift resolution of issues to ensure that a sufficient proportion of this potential is met.

Assuming that the success rate of offshore wind projects remains above the current average, Europe could not only exceed its target of 44GW by the end of 2020 but exceed 55GW of installed offshore wind capacity by 2020 - 25% higher than current targets - and easily meet the 2030 target of 150GW of installed capacity with adequate government support. / / @DatamonitorEN

Source: MarketLine

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