Market strategies for offshore wind in Europe: A development and diffusion perspective

João Gorenstein Dedecca*, Rudi A. Hakvoort, J. Roland Ortt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)
385 Downloads (Pure)


Offshore wind will contribute to the decarbonization of European power systems, but is currently costlier than many other generation technologies. We assess the adequacy of market strategies available to private actors developing offshore wind farms in Europe, by employing the development and diffusion pattern model. The model includes two earlier phases in addition to the large-scale deployment phase of other diffusion models: the innovation and the market adaptation phases. During its development and diffusion offshore wind moved from experimentation to a dominant design (monopile foundations and a permanent magnet generator). Simultaneously, wind farms shifted from an experimental to a commercial purpose and grew from 10 to 316 MW on average. The turbine and wind farm development markets kept a high concentration throughout all phases. Also, the wind farm life cycle and supply chain became more integrated and drew less from the onshore wind and oil & gas sectors. This development and diffusion was shaped by the barriers of cost, project risk and complexity, capital requirements, and multi-disciplinarity. Wind farms developers combined three niche strategies to address these barriers: the subsidized, the geographic, and the demo, experiment and develop. The barriers make these niche strategies more adequate than strategies of mass-market (dominating a market) or wait-and-see (developing resources but waiting for uncertainty reduction before market entrance). Nonetheless, the barriers and market strategies changed during the development and diffusion pattern. Thus, cost and risk reductions decreased the importance of the subsidized niche, while the geographic niche becomes less important as offshore wind develops outside of Europe. The study also identified an increase in cooperation for wind farm development, as development became more international and with more frequent alliances. Wind farm developers and development and diffusion models research must consider how contemporary forms of cooperation improve or hinder the market strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)286-296
Number of pages11
JournalRenewable & Sustainable Energy Reviews
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Barriers
  • Cooperation
  • Development and diffusion
  • Innovation
  • Market strategies
  • Offshore wind


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