Worldwide, some 7.5GW of offshore wind capacity is in operation. This represents a little more than 2% of global installed wind capacity. However, offshore wind is growing fast — the Global Wind Energy Council projects that by 2020 offshore wind will be about 10% of global installed capacity.
From an operations and maintenance (O&M) perspective, offshore wind farms present new and additional challenges. With a track record dating back only a matter of years, there is little information available on offshore O&M costs and strategies. However, this report attempts to shed light on this fast-growing market.
Based on a handful of reports that have looked in detail at existing wind farms, the views of experts with intimate knowledge of offshore operations and maintenance and confidential data from industry players, we have developed a forecast of O&M costs and market forecasts to 2018 and beyond.
This report goes into detail when apportioning costs to the various categories within each of the operations, scheduled maintenance and unscheduled maintenance markets.
In an industry that is highly reliant on technology, it is impossible to overestimate the importance of components’ choice and O&M. Different options in drivetrains, generators, shafts, bearings, lubrication, pitch and yaw systems, converters, transformers and blades all come with advantages and disadvantages. This report explores these issues in detail.
This report combines research and insight by a group of experts with details of offshore O&M costs at operational wind farms to produce an estimate of offshore O&M costs per megawatt hour installed.
Project details are derived from our WPO Intelligence database of offshore wind farms. We used a snapshot of the data that was taken on 16 July 2014. Any new projects or information that was announced after that date is not reflected in this report.
Significant effort is currently being expended on reducing the cost of offshore wind, and this is bound to have an effect on future O&M costs. However, future projects are likely to be located further away from shore and in deeper seas, as the easiest sites have already been exploited. With those two contrasting forces in place, we decided not to factor in any reduction or increase in O&M costs to 2030 in this report. But we expect this to change in future reports.
Installed capacity to 2013 is based on the WPO Intelligence database. The short-term forecast of installed capacity between 2014 and 2018 is drawn from our report Global Offshore Wind Energy Forecast to 2023, published in June 2014. Our forecast of long-term installed wind capacity is based on a combination of linear regression analysis of historical data from the WPO intelligence database, existing forecasts by reputable organisations such as IEA, EWEA and GWEC, and an assessment of individual countries’ policies and offshore wind targets, when available.