The global offshore wind market reached nearly 15 GW in total capacity by the end of 2015, according to new figures from Navigant Research.
In a new report from global research firm Navigant Research analyzing the global offshore wind market, the total capacity figures by the end of 2015 for the global offshore wind market reached nearly 12 GW, thanks in part to the traditional leadership from European countries, as well as new countries developing their ambitions alongside actually supportive policy. 2015 was a record year for the offshore wind industry, with 3,755 MW of new offshore wind capacity coming online by the end of the year, up from only 955 MW in 2014.
Capacity of Wind Projects Online, Under Construction, and in Planning by Year, World Markets: 2000-2020
“Most of the operational capacity in leading countries such as Germany and the United Kingdom have been enabled by renewable energy generation mandates,” explained Jesse Broehl, senior research analyst with Navigant Research. “From a policy perspective, Europe is showing the way in the evolution of how offshore wind projects are supported.”
Germany led the way in 2015, bringing online 2,467 MW during the year — that being said, however, more than half of Germany’s 2015 commissioned capacity was already fully constructed by the end of 2014, but delays with transmission connections pushed final completion into 2015. The United Kingdom commissioned 1,054 MW of capacity, followed by the Netherlands with 129 MW.
As a result of this traditional European offshore wind leadership, new countries with their own offshore wind ambitions have learned to match their ambition with policies that can support the development and growth of an offshore wind industry. The forecast for offshore wind growth will still remain reliant upon a few key countries — such as the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, France, Belgium, and China — however, this will be augmented by development in new countries.
Specifically, Navigant Research predicts that the five year forecast will see the global offshore wind industry install over 24 GW over the next five years, finishing 2020 with a cumulative capacity of over 32 GW.