26GW global offshore wind by 2017 says IEA

5-year forecast predicts UK & China to be top 2 generators

The global offshore wind industry will achieve a cumulative generating capacity of 26GW by 2017, forecasts the International Energy Agency (IEA), in its first medium-term report on the development of renewable energy.

Looking ahead to 2017, the IEA expects offshore wind capacity to increase by more than six-fold, specifying which countries it expects to have the largest installed offshore capacity. These are:

-         UK with 7.4GW

-         China with 7.0GW

-         Germany with 4.0GW

-         Denmark with 1.7GW

-         France with 1.5GW.

These projections are based on China achieving the fastest growth in offshore wind deployment of any nation, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 73.3%. This compares to lower, but still strong, CAGR projections for Germany (64.7%) and the UK (23.4%). The national forecasts also assume that the UK and Germany install less new offshore wind capacity than set out in each country's national renewable energy action plan (NREAP), while the IEA assumes that Denmark will install slightly more capacity than outlined in its NREAP.

Offshore wind’s current cost of generation is cited as ranging from $140 to 300/MWh (€115-246/MWh), with this cost "very sensitive to delays in construction". The report is entitled Medium-term outlook: renewable technologies.

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