Offshore capacity to hit 37GW in 10 years

WORLDWIDE: Cumulative offshore wind capacity will increase more than fivefold to reach 37GW by 2022, a report from energy consultants Douglas Westwood claims.

The UK has the greatest installed capacity, but will be overtaken by Germany

The market is predicted to grow steadily over the next 10 years, adding on average 3.2GW each year, with the UK, Germany and China accounting for 64% of all offshore wind installations.

The report predicts that, subject to no major project delays, 2013 will be a record year for the global offshore wind industry with over 2.7GW of new installed capacity.

Germany is anticipated to become the largest offshore wind market with 9GW of capacity, while the UK should reach nearly 8GW. This is well below the UK's target of 18GW by 2020.

Douglas Westwood expects the Chinese market to add on average over 600MW of new capacity each year and reaching 6.7GW by 2022. This also falls short of China's own projections of 30GW by 2020.

New emerging markets including France and Sweden are expected overtake established offshore wind markets such as Belgium and Denmark.

Based on the recorded project data, the report forecasts total capital expenditure of €50 billion from 2013 to 2022, but taking into account the additional expected expenditure, this figure could exceed €217 billion.

The report also strikes a more downbeat note, as it concludes that a funding gap is likely to appear after 2014.

Large utilities and public sector sources have provided most of the funding to date, but due to the ever-increasing investment requirements there will need to be an increase in investment from other sources such as debt finance, and pension and insurance funds.