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Spinoffs from offshore wind market growth

11 May 2012 – The global wind energy market witnessed huge growth during 2010 and 2011, as total wind power capacity around the world grew by 20.6%, according to a new report by energy intelligence provider GlobalData.

The report suggests that the growth of major wind power markets in the US, Germany, Spain, India, Italy and France is expected to slow down during the coming years, but emerging markets within Asia-Pacific and south and central America are expected to easily fill this void.

In the near future, the offshore wind power market is expected to boom, with mega wind power projects due to become operational. Offshore wind power development is mainly concentrated in Europe, which accounts for over 3.2 GW of offshore wind power capacity. While offshore wind power only accounts for 1.5% of the total wind market at the moment, with large scale commercial offshore wind farms currently in the planning and construction phases, capacity is expected to reach 52.1 GW in 2020, representing 7.1% of the total market.

Related markets are also benefitting from the growing popularity of offshore wind power. For example, offshore wind turbine installation vessel revenue increased from an estimated US$21.4 million in 2006 to US$161.2 million in 2010, and is predicted to reach US$2,156.5 million by 2020. Vessels are crucial for the installation of large offshore wind foundations and turbines. Around 12 new second generation vessels are expected to be in European seas in 2012 and 2013 to cater to the growing offshore wind power installations.

Similarly, the global export cable market grew from an estimated 42 km in 2006 to 225.1 km in 2011, and is expected to grow to 648.2 km in 2020 due to the increasing number of wind farms and their increasing distance from shore. The offshore wind turbine foundation market is also expected to grow with offshore wind market and is expected to reach US$6,528.8 million in 2020.

Global wind energy installed capacity increased from 74,212.1 MW in 2006 to 238,351 MW in 2011, of which 40,714 MW came online in 2011. Against a backdrop of increasing investment from emerging economies, global wind power installed capacity will reach 736,956.7 MW by 2020.