Over the course of the year, the global wind energy market has seen massive growth of around 20.6%, according to a report by GlobalData.
Whilst the growth of major wind power markets in places such as the US, Spain, France, and India are expected to slow down in coming years, it seems likely that emerging markets within Asia-Pacific and South/Central America will more than compensate for the loss.
The offshore wind power market is expected to take off in the near future, correlating with larger scale wind power projects becoming fully operational. At present, development is largely concentrated in Europe, accounting for over 3.2 gigawatts of offshore wind power capacity. Whilst this is a considerably large amount, offshore wind power only accounts for about 1.5% of the wind market at present. However, commercial offshore wind farms are currently in development, meaning capacity is expected to grow significantly, to approximately 52 gigawatts by 2020, representing about 7% of the total wind power market.
The growing popularity of offshore wind power is also having a positive impact on related markets. For example, the revenue of offshore turbine installation vessels increased by $140 million between 2006 and 2010, and is expected to reach $2,156.5 million by 2020. These vessels are an important part of larger offshore wind turbines, which explains their increasing demand. Around 12 new second-generation vessels are expected to be manufactured and installed in European seas by the end of 2013 to cater for the uptake of wind power.
The global export cable market has grown in a similar fashion. Approximately 42 km were sold in 2006, growing to 225.1 km in 2011 and expected to grow to 648.2 km by 2020 due to an increasing number of wind farms and their increasing distance from the shoreline. The offshore wind turbine foundation market is expected to reach $6,528.8 million by 2020.
Finally, the installed energy capacity of global wind energy has increased from 74,212 megawatts in 2006 to 238,351 megawatts at the end of 2011, with 40,714 megawatts coming online only last year. Taking into account the increasing investment from emerging economies, the installed capacity of global wind power will reach around 736,957 megawatts by 2020.
Dane Cross writes on behalf of Ardenham Energy, a UK-based supplier of solar PV and heat pumps.
Image: offshore wind farm courtesy Shutterstock