Driven by technological advancements and falling costs, the number of offshore wind projects is rapidly increasing – which is making an impact across the global renewables energy market. Luisina Berberian, associate director, Infrastructure Finance Ratings, S&P Global Ratings, considers the factors driving offshore wind projects, as well as the challenges they are yet to overcome.
Global investment in offshore wind projects is soaring. As a result, global cumulative offshore wind capacity increased by 2.2 gigawatts (GW) or 18% in 2016, and the Global Wind Energy Council estimates that it could expand by as much as 3 GW in 2017. Indeed, this robust and rapid growth is being propelled by rising investment in renewables, lower market costs, greater climate change awareness worldwide, and developments in technology.
With Europe still standing tall as the regional world leader in offshore wind power – 25.8% of the Netherland’s wind power is offshore, 35.5% in the UK – other regions are fast recognising the benefits, and are looking to develop their own market sectors. Yet, if offshore wind power is to seize these new opportunities, there are challenges to be overcome.