20/20 vision for offshore
With strong long term growth forecasted, PES takes a look at what the next 20 years holds for offshore, and the future requirements of an industry on the up.
Between 2020 and 2030 a further 110 GW of offshore wind capacity is expected to be added in European waters. 150 GW of wind power would produce 562 TWh annually, enough to cover 14 per cent of the EU's 2030 electricity demand and avoid 315 million tonnes of CO2 emissions.
In December 2008 the European Union agreed on a binding target of 20 per cent renewable energy by 2020. To meet the 20 per cent target for renewable energy, the European Commission expected 34 per cent of electricity to come from renewable energy sources by 2020 and believed that "wind could contribute 12 per cent of EU electricity by 2020".
Not least due to the 2009 Renewable Energy Directive and the 27 mandatory national renewable energy targets, the Commission's expectations for 2020 were increased. Based on the PRIMES energy model developed by the E3M Lab at the National Technical University of Athens, the Commission published new figures in 2010. These expected wind to cover 14.2 per cent of total electricity consumption in the EU by 2020, with an installed capacity in 2020 of 55.6 GW offshore wind power, meeting between 4 and 4.2 per cent of the EU's electricity demand. EWEA expects the total installed offshore wind capacity in 2020 to be 40 GW, up from just less than 3 GW at the end of 2010.
The 2009 directive also required all Member States to produce National Renewable Energy Action Plans (NREAPs) determining the share of each renewable technology in the energy mix from 2010 to 2020 and, therefore, setting sectoral objectives. The 27 NREAPs' combined objective for offshore wind capacity by 2020 is 43.3 GW6. EWEA's predictions are, thus, for the first time below those of the national governments.