Offshore wind projects installed after 2020 will be cost-competitive with new natural gas power plants, engineering consultancy BVG Associates concluded this week in a study for Statkraft UK, a subsidiary of the Norwegian state electricity company.
The study points to “tangible advances in technology, the supply chain, and policy” that have driven down the cost of offshore wind development, and will continue to do so.
“This is a radical step towards ‘subsidy’-free offshore wind and will enable the UK to continue to decarbonize through the 2020s, cost-effectively,” the report states. Moreover, by repowering existing offshore wind farms with the latest turbines, the UK could deliver projects that undercut natural gas “even under the government’s lowest gas price forecast.”
BVG says offshore wind could create 18,000 long-term, direct jobs by 2025 and tap an export market worth more than £200 billion.
In Germany, meanwhile, Bloomberg reports that offshore wind installations totalled 1.765 GW in the first half of 2015, more than three times the new capacity installed all last year. The industry group Stiftung Offshore Wind Energy “is expecting about 2,250 megawatts of new installations in Germany this year, meaning the country is well on track to reach a target of adding 6,500 megawatts of offshore wind capacity by the end of this decade,” writes correspondent Stefan Nicola.