Speaking to Windpower TV, Ernst and Young partner Alexis Gazzo pointed to skills as one of the key factors that would determine whether the offshore wind market will be sufficiently large to reduce the levelised cost of energy to one comparable to those of other technologies by 2023.
"There is a huge effort to be made in terms of training and skill development," he said. "What's difficult is that this is where timing is key, because if you train people too early you have people who have skills with no use who might go to other industries. Training too late is not good either.
"There are a lot of places in coastal zones... where the need is to do training to enable people to change from their historical skills... this will require government support as well."
A report released by Ernst and Young earlier today claimed that offshore wind energy has the potential to be competitive with more traditional forms of energy within eight years.
The "Offshore Wind in Europe" report said the introduction of larger turbines, a strong pipeline, increased competition and a more developed supply chain could see the levelised cost of energy fall 26% by 2023.
It also predicts the cost of offshore could fall to €90/MWh by 2030, if the industry can continue to cut costs.