Offshore wind cable market to grow 57% by 2023

The value of the global market for subsea cables is set to increase 57% in the next four years as the offshore wind sector expands.

Less than 25% of the cables required to connect new capacity between now and 2024 have been contracted to date (pic credit: NKT)

RenewableUK forecast the global market value to rise from 57% from £717 million (€825 million) in 2019 to £1.13 billion by 2023.

This increase in value will coincide with the deployment of more than 16,000km of subsea cables to connect the 35GW of new offshore wind farms — mainly in the UK, the US, Germany and Taiwan — expected online by 2024.

Annual distances of installed export and array cables will also nearly double in the next five years, from 1,642km in 2019 to 2,647km in 2024, the UK clean energy industry group predicted, contributing to the increased value.

To date, less than 25% of contracts have been awarded for the 16,000km-plus cables needed to install new offshore capacity in this period, RenewableUK added.

It forecast 9,606km of inter-array cables — connecting the turbines to the offshore substation — to be installed between 2020 and 2024.

Of this total, only 2,178km (22%) has been awarded to cables manufacturers.

RenewableUK also forecast 6,750km of export cables — connecting projects to an onshore grid — to be required in this period.

Manufacturing contracts have been awarded for only 1,686km (25%) and installation contracts for just 1,450km (21%), it added.

There is a "huge opportunity" for manufacturers, suppliers and other companies involved in producing and installing cables for offshore wind, the trade body noted.