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EWEA Offshore: Offshore to be cost competitive by 2023

EUROPE: Offshore wind energy has the potential to be competitive with more traditional forms of energy within eight years, according to a report by Ernst and Young (EY).

EY predicts there could be 28GW of offshore capacity in Europe by 2020
EY predicts there could be 28GW of offshore capacity in Europe by 2020

EY "Offshore Wind in Europe" said the introduction of larger turbines, a strong pipeline, increased competition and a more developed supply chain could see the levelised cost of energy (LCoE) fall 26% by 2023.

EY's report also predicts the cost of offshore could fall to €90/MWh by 2030, if the industry can continue to cut costs.

Larger turbines are already being adopted, for example at the Burbo Bank and Walney Extensions where the MHI Vestas 8MW V164, and Siemens' 6MW at the Westermost Rough project.

EY predicts larger turbines, which increase energy capture, could reduce costs by up to 9%.

Offshore capacity in Europe is expected to treble by 2020, EY predicts, to 28GW. Most of the added capacity will come from the UK (7GW) with Germany (6GW), Denmark (2GW) and the Netherlands (2GW) also contributing to the increase.

The EY report also highlights offshore energy's increased load factors compared to other renewables as a reason it is becoming a more attractive investment.

However it warned that if the sector misses out on 2020 targets of over 20GW and €100/MWh, the industry will not progress beyond 2030.

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