Global Offshore Wind Power Market - Statistics & Facts

Wind energy is characterized by its use of air flow for production of mechanical power or electricity - making it a free, non-polluting renewable resource. A wind farm consists of several hundred wind turbines, generally grouped together into a single wind power plant. The wind power industry is comprised of two segments: onshore and offshore wind farms. Offshore wind, wind farms located in bodies of water, is considered to be steadier and stronger in comparison to onshore wind, located in-land. However, its construction and maintenance costs are considerably higher than the latter. The installed minimum costs of offshore wind energy amounted to 4,239 U.S. dollars per kilowatt in 2017. The overnight costs of offshore wind plants were the highest in Germany and France amounting to 5,900 and 5,400 U.S. dollars per kilowatt, respectively.

On the global market, offshore wind energy capacity reached over 3 gigawatts in 2010 and has increased to about 14.1 gigawatts in 2016. According to recent statistics, the offshore wind farm industry was led by the United Kingdom and Germany, based on the market share. Offshore wind farms are installed in shallow waters around the world, mostly in Europe. Denmark installed its first offshore wind park off of their coast in the early 90s and one of the world's largest wind energy companies, Vestas, generated 10.8 billion U.S. dollars in revenue in the global market in 2016.

One of the largest wind turbine manufacturers is the Danish company, Vestas Wind Systems A/S, followed by Enercon and Siemens. Wind turbines manufactured by Vestas are distributed across the world as well as in the Asia Pacific region, where it generated 860 million euros in revenue in 2017.

Offshore wind turbines are not yet entirely competitive with fossil fuels, but worldwide offshore wind power generation is projected to grow from 32 terawatt hours in 2015 up to 90 terawatt hours by 2020. This figure would account for a substantial portion of the world’s energy needs.

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