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Offshore Wind Power Wind power could meet entire world's electricity needs 18 times over

Author / Editor: Erika Granath / Erika Granath |

Wind power accounts for just 0.3 percent of the world's energy. But as costs fall and green policies rise, it is on course to grow into a trillion-dollar industry. By tapping the market's full potential, the offshore wind industry would generate eye-popping, 420,000 TWh per year—18 times the global electricity demand today.

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the global offshore wind market is predicted to be worth $30.5 billion by 2025.
the global offshore wind market is predicted to be worth $30.5 billion by 2025.
(Source: Public Domain / Unsplash)

Despite growing close to 30 percent annually 2010-2018, the global offshore wind market still has enormous growth potential. That might, however, come to change in the next decade. Rapid maturity of key technology means that offshore wind is taking shape as a mainstream energy source.

A recent analysis by Frost & Sullivan, Growth Opportunities in the Offshore Wind Turbine Market, Forecast to 2025, predicts that the sector will grow at a CAGR of 22.5 percent between 2018 and 2025, with revenues slated to rise from $7.4 billion to $30.5 billion.

Offshore winds remarkable potential

In recent years, technological improvements such as increased-capacity wind turbines, floating wind turbines, and 3D printing have brought down the overall cost of offshore wind power and opened new offshore locations that were previously inaccessible. These developments are accelerating the adoption of wind power worldwide and driving the global offshore wind turbines market toward monumental growth.

Furthermore, the scaling up of investments in the renewable energy sector through national, regional, and international climate change-related policies has had an enormous effect on the offshore wind turbine market.

The global offshore wind market grew a whopping 95 percent between 2016 and 2017. In 2018, Europe installed 2.6 GW of new offshore wind energy capacity. Despite all this, today's offshore wind market doesn't even come close to tapping the full potential. Worldwide, offshore wind has the potential to generate over 420,000 TWh per year.

To put that number into perspective, 420,000 TWh is 18 times the global electricity demand today, according to the International Energy Agency.

Europe is the leading market for offshore wind turbines

Europe is the largest market for offshore wind turbines, generating $4.91 billion in 2018. During the same year, Asia-Pacific's offshore wind turbine market garnered $2.47 billion in revenue.

Revenues are expected to grow at a CAGR of just over 18 percent as the European wind turbine market is mature. In the Asia-Pacific region, on the other hand, revenues are forecast to grow at a CAGR of 27.5 percent as a result of increased installations in China and Taiwan.

The highest growth is projected to be in the North American market, driven by demand from the United States. Several offshore wind projects are scheduled to be completed before 2025. The growing adoption of offshore wind power is, however, a global phenomenon. A large number of offshore wind turbine projects are scheduled to launch in Brazil, Saudi Arabia, and Kenya during the next five years.

AI and IoT to boost the deployment of offshore wind turbines worldwide

"The integration of artificial intelligence (AI), internet of things (IoT), robotics, and data analytics in wind turbines will enable advanced condition monitoring and predictive maintenance," says Sama Suwal, Research Analyst, Energy and Environment at Frost & Sullivan, in a press release. She continues:

"This will result in increased efficiency and reduced operational and maintenance costs, which will lead to a growth in the deployment of offshore wind turbines."

Other advanced technical solutions than just AI and IoT have the potential to boost the efficiency and deployment of offshore wind turbines. Robotics and data analytics can both make turbines more powerful and enable more accurate predictive maintenance.

Moreover, there's a lot offshore wind turbines manufacturers can do to foster a clean energy revolution, according to Frost & Sullivan's analysis. Frost & Sullivan point out offering turbines for floating foundations to access previously inaccessible markets, expanding into emerging geographies, and exploring collaboration and partnerships opportunities to diverse product lines as some of the most promising potential tactics to boost the green energy revolution.