Offshore Wind Power to Grow Tenfold by 2020, UK Leads
The global offshore wind power market, fueled by the depletion of fossil fuel reserves, the declining cost of wind power generation and impressive investment from the UK, is expected to explode over the next decade, states research and consulting firm GlobalData.
The company’s new report forecasts the global offshore wind power market to rocket from a 2012 cumulative installed capacity of 5.1 Gigawatts (GW) in 2012 to a far greater 54.9 GW by the end of the decade, growing at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 34.5%.
The UK is a major player in the offshore wind power market thanks to its substantial financial commitment and ideal location, contributing more than half of the global installed capacity last year, with 2.7 GW.
Related story: World's Largest Offshore Wind Farm Race
Jonathan Lane, GlobalData's Head of Consulting for Power and Utilities, says: “While risks for offshore developers remain, in particular the potential rationing of Contracts for Difference (CFD) under the levy control framework, the still nascent transmission regime and the competition from nuclear power, the UK government is firmly supporting offshore wind via the Energy Bill.”
Offshore wind is expected to make a large impact upon the UK’s 2020 renewable energy targets and a major expansion is planned. Correspondingly, GlobalData expects the country’s offshore wind power installed capacity to hit 21 GW by the end of 2020, increasing almost 800% from 2012.
Related story: World's Biggest Offshore Wind Farm Opens in UK
According to the firm’s latest report, the offshore wind power industries of several other countries are also expected to undergo massive expansion over the next decade. Germany, in particular, has plans to grow its offshore wind sector substantially in the future, announcing a target of 25 GW installed capacity by 2030 and 95 GW by 2050.
Between 2012 and 2020, however, GlobalData forecasts Germany’s offshore wind power installed capacity to climb from a modest 220 Megawatts (MW) to 8 GW.
Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition
The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.
The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).
This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.
In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.
The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.