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Offshore wind toward 2020


Europe has set itself ambitious climate and energy targets: A third of the continent's electricity needs are to be met from renewable energy sources by 2020. Offshore wind power places a pivotal role in the mix.

In our study "Offshore Wind Toward 2020 – On the Pathway to Cost Competitiveness", our experts state that they expect Europe to have installed offshore capacity of 40 GW by 2020. In the same year, global investment to ramp up offshore wind power will have reached around EUR 130 billion.

Yet huge challenges still lie ahead for the industry: Wind farms are growing in size all the time. They are moving further and further offshore. And they are being constructed in ever deeper waters. These factors are driving up the cost of investment and making projects more complex. If it is to compete with other forms of energy, the offshore wind industry must therefore sharply cut the cost of energy generation. A reduction of around 30% between now and 2020 would allow electricity generated from offshore wind power to be sold at an average price of 9 euro cents per kWh. But that will require technological innovation, new financing models and a stable political framework.

"The offshore wind industry will become increasingly important in the years ahead, because transforming the energy system without this one central pillar would be difficult to imagine," says Marcus M. Weber, Partner at Roland Berger Strategy Consultants. "That makes it all the more important for the industry to quickly achieve cost-cutting industrialization effects, and for the government to stake out a reliable framework."

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