Offshore Wind Power Experiences, Potential and Key Issues for Deployment

Jørgen Kjærgaard Lemming, Poul Erik Morthorst, Niels-Erik Clausen

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    Wind power has been growing at spectacular rates. Today it is the largest non-hydro renewable power technology. Worldwide there is 74 GW of installed capacity which is 1.7% of power generation capacity and in 2006 it accounted for 0.82% of electricity production. However, offshore wind still only counts for a very small amount and development has only taken place in North European counties round the North Sea and the Baltic Sea over the last 15 years. Offshore wind is still some 50% more expensive than onshore wind, but more wind resources and lesser visual impacts from larger turbines are expected to compensate for the higher installation costs in the long term. Most offshore wind farms are installed in British, Swedish and Danish waters, and present-day costs of installing wind energy in the UK are between 1,200 to 1,600 £/kW (1,781 to 2,375 €/kW) offshore, while in Sweden investment costs were 1,800 €/kW, and in Denmark 1,200 to 1,700 €/kW, though investment costs for a new wind farm are expected be in the range of 2.0 to 2.2 mill. €/MW for a near-shore shallow depth facility. Future developments in offshore wind technology concerning aerodynamics, structural dynamics, structural design, machine elements, electrical design and grid integration could drive investment costs from present-day range of 1.9 to 2.2 mill.€/MW down to 1.35 - 1.54 mill.€/MW in 2050, which accounts for a reduction of costs of approx. 35% . In order to sum up progress and identify future research needs, the International Energy Agency (IEA) Wind agreement Task 11 should arrange a new meeting concerning long term research needs for reviewing “the long term strategy for 2000 to 2020” from 2001, to come up with suggestions / recommendations on how to define and proceed with, the necessary research activities of the IEA Wind Agreement and governments involved on key wind issues related to offshore technologies.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationRoskilde
    PublisherDanmarks Tekniske Universitet, Risø Nationallaboratoriet for Bæredygtig Energi
    Number of pages26
    ISBN (Print)978-87-550-3725-9
    Publication statusPublished - 2009
    SeriesDenmark. Forskningscenter Risoe. Risoe-R


    • Wind turbines
    • Energy systems analysis
    • Wind energy
    • Risø-R-1673
    • Risø-R-1673(EN)

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