Gusty forecast for offshore wind technology development

Now this is the sort of news about offshoring that I could get behind: A new report from cleantech watchers Pike Research predicts that investment in power generation capabilities provided by offshore wind turbines will "surge" between now and 2017. In fact, the firm predicts that capacity will multiply by a factor of 17 during that time period.

Now this is the sort of news about offshoring that I could get behind: A new report from cleantech watchers Pike Research predicts that investment in power generation capabilities provided by offshore wind turbines will "surge" between now and 2017. In fact, the firm predicts that capacity will multiply by a factor of 17 during that time period. Right now, there is about 4.1 gigawatts of installed capacity; that compares with Pike's projections for capacity of 70.1 gigawatts by the end of that period.

Said Pike Research analyst Peter Asmus:

"Some of the world's best wind resources are located offshore. Often, these high-potential areas are in shallow ocean waters relatively close to urban population centers. Interest in freshwater offshore wind is also picking up, especially in the Great Lakes in the United States and Canadian Midwest."

The key pioneers in wind technology are mainly found in Europe, where the United Kingdom is the current leader in wind-generated power. The nation of Denmark currently gets 25 percent of its electricity from wind and even Germany is a heavy investor. In the future, China will pull even with these leaders, according to the PIke report.

One big factor that could hold things back: The cost of generation, which is currently higher than it is today for onshore wind technology. This is actually one of the reasons so much capacity is being developed at once, according to the Pike report. It is a simple economy of scale equation.

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