According to a recent report by Wind Europe, offshore wind in Europe doubled in capacity in 2017 to 3,148 MW raising Europe’s total installed offshore wind capacity to 15,780MW. There are now 92 offshore wind farms in 11 European countries, and once 11 offshore projects under construction are completed, the total installed grid connected capacity will increase to 18.7GW.
The UK has the largest installed offshore wind capacity in Europe (43 percent) followed by Germany (34 percent). Denmark remains the third largest market (8 percent) closely followed by Netherlands (7 percent) and Belgium (6 percent). France has installed its first offshore floating wind turbine, representing a total of 2 MW of net installed capacity.
Monopiles remain the most popular substructure type in 2017, representing 87 percent of all installed foundations. Jackets and gravity base respectively account for 9 percent and 2 percent of the total installed substructures. The average capacity rating of the 560 offshore wind turbines grid-connected in 2017 was 5.9 MW, 23 percent larger than in 2016. The average size of the grid-connected offshore wind farms in 2017 was 493 MW, 34 percent higher than the previous year. The industry players are pushing towards bigger and improved machines boosting upward turbine growth. In another report by MAKE Consulting, the current average offshore turbine size in Germany and the UK is expected to double by 2024.
2019 is expected to be another record year for offshore wind power in established markets with many emergent markets such as the US and Taiwan really ramping up. By 2020, offshore wind is projected to grow to a total installed capacity of 25 GW.
All of this expansion arrives against a backdrop of falling prices and zero subsidy bids. This puts a spotlight on high CAPEX items such as foundations and subsea cables. Cathie Associates are rising to this challenge through diligent management of seabed risk, new design approaches, automation, machine learning and a determined focus on incremental gains in areas such as soil-structure interaction. We know that our efforts deliver huge savings to our valued clients in offshore wind.
At Cathie Associates, we believe that the future of offshore wind industry is highly promising and will become an increasingly critical part of the energy mix. Having worked with leading developers and contractors since the earliest days of the offshore wind industry, we know that offshore wind requires feats of engineering and construction and have a comprehensive understanding of the risks. We have worked in over two-thirds of all European offshore wind farms including Hornsea, Borselle and Le Treport and have over 25GW of experience in offshore wind farm projects worldwide from Taiwan through Europe and to the USA. We are currently involved in 8 of the 10 largest offshore wind farms under construction.
For structured planning and management, we offer a complete geoscience and geotechnical support framework in addition to targeted solutions in project areas. Our unique technical engineering expertise and practical construction support ensures a high-quality service for our clients and a range of practical, cost-effective, low risk solutions.