Europe will lead the league in offshore windpower developement according to Emerging Energy Research. Their new study concludes that 70% of the global offshore wind investment will be in Europe from now until 2020. Other areas of development will be Canada, China, India and the U.S.
R and D continues even as billions of dollars are put into new offshore wind installation. Says EER, "Globally, offshore wind depends on turbine and foundation technological advances, the development of know-how across the project value chain."
"Of the top 10 utilities seeking to build offshore, Northern European players have the most aggressive expansion plans. Danish utility DONG is the largest global offshore wind plant owner, with a stake in eight different wind plants across Denmark and the UK for a net nstalled base of 368 MW," according to EER.
What are some of the barriers to wider use of offshore wind energy? Getting the turbines in place and the delivery system built. There's a shortage of ships equipped to install pilings and turbines. Says EER, "Offshore wind developers are seeking access to wind plant components amidst growing bottlenecks resulting from supply constraints, especially for turbine and transmission capacity."
It's expected more suppliers will enter the wind generation competition, perhaps indicating a rich opening for some venture firms. Many of the customers investing in the offshore wind plants are major utilities, especially in Northern Europe. That indicates deep pockets that will buy if the components can be supplied.