Trends of offshore wind projects

S Rodrigues, C Restrepo, E Kontos, R Teixeira Pinto, P Bauer

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99 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this paper is to present the current status of the offshore wind industry and to identify trends in Offshore Wind Projects (OWPs). This was accomplished via a thorough analysis of the key characteristics – commissioning country, installed capacity, number of turbines, water depth, project area, distance to shore, transmission technology and investment cost – of the commissioned and under construction European OWPs. Furthermore, the current status of the several countries outside of Europe was also investigated. The analysis revealed that the European offshore wind power grew on average 36.1% yearly since 2001. Currently, there are 7748 MW installed and 3198 MW under construction distributed among 76 OWPs situated in European waters. These projects are spread among ten countries, with the highest share of offshore projects belonging to the northern European countries. The UK has 46% of the total installed European offshore wind capacity with 26 projects, Germany ranks second with 16, while Denmark is third with 13 projects. These countries constitute 88% of the European offshore capacity. The analysis also showed that, although the installed capacity of the OWPs is growing, the projects׳ area is not increasing at the same pace due to the release of turbines with higher rated capacities which allow projects to increase their power nameplate without proportionally increasing the number of turbines. The average distance to shore and the water depth are both increasing throughout the years. Although the average investment cost per project is rising with the higher distances to shore and water depths, the multi-GW plans of the northern European and Asian countries indicate that the industry will continue to grow. The European Union targets of having 40 GW of offshore wind capacity deployed by 2020 in Europe and 150 GW by 2030 may represent plausible scenarios since the required growth is below the European.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1114-1135
Number of pages22
JournalRenewable & Sustainable Energy Reviews
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2015


  • Characteristics
  • Current status
  • Market players
  • Offshore wind projects
  • trends

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    Rodrigues, S., Restrepo, C., Kontos, E., Teixeira Pinto, R., & Bauer, P. (2015). Trends of offshore wind projects. Renewable & Sustainable Energy Reviews, 49, 1114-1135.