NewEnergyNews: TODAY’S STUDY: Where Offshore Wind Is Booming


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    Monday, May 09, 2016

    TODAY’S STUDY: Where Offshore Wind Is Booming

    The European offshore wind industry - key trends and statistics 2015

    February 2016 (European Wind Energy Association)

    Executive Summary

    Offshore wind power market in 2015

    • 3,019 MW of net installed, grid-connected capacity was added in 2015, 108% more than in 2014. A net addition of 754 new offshore wind turbines in 15 wind farms were grid-connected from 1 January to 31 December 2015.

    • 419 new turbines were erected in 2015. Seven turbines were decommissioned in the UK and Sweden, resulting in a net addition of 412 turbines.

    • 53 of these turbines equivalent to 277 MW are awaiting grid connection.

    • 14 projects were completed in 2015. Work is on-going on six projects in Germany, the Netherlands and the UK.

    Cumulative offshore wind power market

    • 3,230 turbines are now installed and grid-connected, making a cumulative total of 11,027 MW.

    • Including sites under construction, there are 84 offshore wind farms in 11 European countries.

    • 80% of substructures are monopiles, 9.1% are gravity foundations, jackets account for 5.4%, tripods account for 3.6% and tripiles account for 1.7%.

    Market outlook

    • Once completed, the six offshore projects currently under construction will increase total installed grid-connected capacity by a further 1.9 GW, bringing the cumulative capacity in Europe to 12.9 GW.

    Trends: turbines, foundations, water depth and distance to shore

    • The average offshore wind turbine size was 4.2 MW, a 13% increase over 2014. This was due to the increased deployment of 4-6 MW turbines in 2015.

    • The average size of a grid-connected offshore wind farm in 2015 was 337.9 MW, 8.2% less than the previous year. There were some large offshore wind farms: 576-600 MW sites at Gwynt y Môr and Gemini. However, the majority of German sites were 288 MW.

    • The average water depth of wind farms completed, or partially completed in 2015 was 27.1 m and the average distance to shore was 43.3 km.

    Financing highlights and developments

    • Ten projects, worth €13.3bn, reached final investment decision (FID), a doubling over 2014. In total 3,034 MW of new capacity reached FID during 2015.

    • Total investments for the construction and refinancing of offshore wind farms and transmission assets hit a record level of €18bn.

    • Reduced risk perception for offshore wind projects has led to the emergence of project bonds as a means of financing. For the first time in 2015, €1.5bn was raised through project bonds for the construction and refinancing of offshore wind farms.

    Annual Market 2015

    Offshore wind installations

    3,018.5 MW of new offshore wind power capacity was connected to the grid during 2015 in Europe, a 108.3% increase over 2014 and the biggest yearly addition to capacity to date.

    • During 2015, work was carried out on 22 offshore wind farms in Europe.

    • 14 utility-scale wind farms were completed.

    • Work continued on two other wind farms where several wind turbines were erected.

    • Work has started but no turbines are yet connected in five other wind farms.

    • Two sites had decommissioning of turbines, with a full decommissioning at the Yttre Stengrund site in Sweden.

    75.4% of all net capacity brought online was in Germany (2,282.4 MW), a four-fold increase in its grid-connected capacity compared to 2014. This was in large part due to the delay in grid connections finally coming online in 2015 in Germany. The second largest market was the UK (566.1 MW, or 18.7% share), followed by the Netherlands (180 MW, or 5.9% share).

    Of the total 3,018.5 MW connected in European waters, 86.1% were in the North Sea, 9.2% in the Baltic Sea, and 4.7% in the Irish Sea.

    Siemens continues to be the top offshore wind turbine supplier in terms of net annual installations. With 1,816.4 MW of new capacity connected, Siemens accounts for 60% of the 2015 market. Adwen (550 MW, 18.2%), MHI Vestas (391.5 MW, 12.9%) and Senvion (270.6 MW, 8.9%) are the other turbine manufacturers who had turbines grid-connected in full-scale wind farms during 2015.

    Similarly, in terms of net grid-connected units, Siemens remains at the top with 476 turbines of various individual turbine capacities (3-6 MW, accounting for 62.7% of connected capacity) connected in European waters during 2015. MHI Vestas connected a net total of 129 turbines (ranging from 3-3.3 MW) representing 17%2. Adwen connected 110 turbines to the grid, each rated at 5 MW, representing 14.5% of all turbines connected. Senvion also connected 44 turbines, with an individual turbine rating of 6.15 MW, making up 5.8% of gridconnected turbines in 2015…

    Market outlook for 2016 and 2017

    The volume of new grid-connected installations will be lower in 2016 than it was in 2015. This is due in part to the high volume of turbines installed in 2014 that were only grid-connected in 2015 in Germany; and in part to the reduced number of project starts in 2015 compared to 2014.

    However, turbine orders in 2015 were stronger than in 2014, presenting an early indication of good momentum for offshore wind after 2016. Year-on-year orders grew by 74.5% to 5.1 GW of firm and conditional orders placed.

    Offshore construction work is expected to start at sites larger than those worked on in 2015, such as Iberdrola’s Wikinger wind farm in Germany and E.ON’s Rampion in the UK, meaning that overall average wind farm sizes will increase in 2016. Average turbine size will also increase as the industry develops larger models.

    Once completed, the six offshore projects currently under construction will increase installed capacity by a further 1.9 GW, bringing the cumulative capacity in Europe to 12.9 GW. EWEA has identified 26.4 GW of consented offshore wind farms in Europe that could be constructed over the next decade. A total of 63.5 GW of projects are understood to be in the planning phase.

    The UK has the highest share of consented offshore wind capacity (55%), followed by Germany (26.2%).

    Sweden (7.5%), Belgium (4.2%), Ireland (3.8%) and Denmark (2%) have the remaining share of consented sites.

    In the medium term, an analysis of consented wind farms confirms that the North Sea will remain the main region for offshore deployment (78% of total consented capacity) with significant developments also foreseen in the Irish Sea (8.6% of consented capacity) and in the Baltic Sea (12.4%). Whilst consented projects exist in the Mediterranean, there is no immediate outlook for deployment.


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