New Hampshire, United States — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 29 July 2011 – If the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) projections prove accurate, offshore capacity across Europe will leapfrog past traditional onshore wind developments sometime after 2030, and will be the dominant form of wind development by 2050.
Revealing this in a report released here, the EWEA said there was no reason to believe that this trend would play out any differently in other parts of the world as the industry set out to take wind energy farther and deeper than it had ever been.
With the winds of change coming to the wind industry, and with developments moving farther offshore behind technologies currently in the research stage, the United Kingdom has emerged as the leader of this sector of the industry.
According to the EWEA report, Europe added 883 MW of offshore capacity in 2010, giving the continent 2,964 MW in total capacity. A bit less than half of that rests off the U.K. coast. The U.K. is the global leader with a total of 1,341 MW, followed by Denmark (854 MW), The Netherlands (249), Belgium (195) and Sweden (164).
While there’s a lot of capacity at stake, there’s also a lot of money on the table. The industry, according to the report, was worth US$3.77 billion in 2010. Again, this puts the U.K. in the driver’s seat as the rest of the world considers its offshore future.
U.K. companies are marketing themselves as sources of experience for other European countries exploring offshore, such as France. More than anything, business leaders and government officials see the vast potential of the American market “’ particularly along the East Coast “’ as a way to move the industry forward as a whole.