Offshore wind farms have seen consistent growth over the last several years and will continue to for quite some time.9
Global cumulative wind capacity from 2000-2015.9
As the world recognizes the importance of offshore winds, project approval will increase and the ocean’s unused potential will be claimed. Studies conducted by Siemens, a manufacturer of offshore wind turbines, estimated that the potential energy generated by offshore wind farms could produce four times the United States energy demands and an alarming seven times Europe’s energy demand.10 This stat alone is staggering and good evidence as to why so much attention has been given to offshore wind power in recent years.
Europe is far and away the world’s leader in offshore wind power production. It currently accounts for more than 90% of globally installed offshore wind capacity and produced around 10.4 GW of energy measured in June of 2015. Of Europe, the United Kingdom holds the greatest share in offshore wind installations, producing around 5 GW alone.*4
Pie chart display individual country contributions to the EU’s offshore wind capacity.4
Additionally, Europe projects a substantial increase in the installation of offshore energy for the near future. The European Wind Energy Association has set a target of 40 GW of offshore wind installed by 2020, and 150 GW installed by 2030! At that production power, wind energy would account for 13.9% of the entire European Union’s energy demand.
Bar graph displaying global offshore wind capacity distribution.4
In cooperation with the European Union, the United States and Asian have both produced plans to increase offshore wind energy installation.
America is new to offshore wind energy installations, but also an estimated 4,000 GW of offshore potential. The Department of Energy predicts that by 2030 the U.S. will produce 22 GW of energy, and up to 86 GW by the year 2050.
Asian countries including China, Japan, South Korea, India, and Taiwan also predict a significant increase in offshore wind energy production. They estimate a combined production of up to 35 GW by the year 2020. This is a large increase compared to their current production output of .776 GW.*4
*Text included in between asterisk all use information from source 4*