The New Year is traditionally a time to embrace hope and transformation. We all know that sometimes that hope can be short-lived as diets are broken, gym membership is unused and cigarettes lit. For the renewable energy industry, there is every reason to believe that developments in 2016 will see hope fulfilled and lasting transformation. We expect to see COP21 agreements being transformed into policies and progress in increasing the renewable share of all energy requirements in both established and new markets.
We can already be pretty sure that we’ll see a series of developments in 2016 for renewable energy, especially in new markets in wind:
- Commissioning of the first offshore farm in the US, at Block Island, off Rhode Island State
- Full operation of the world’s first 7MW floating offshore turbine off Fukushima, Japan
- The construction of the first large-scale turbine component manufacturing facility in Africa, by Siemens in Morocco
More established markets will also continue to grow. The Netherlands will more than double its offshore wind capacity and combined the UK and Germany will add almost 2GW of offshore capacity. The UK is likely to see onshore developers quickly construct sites ahead of changes to government policy and the next round of CfD auctions towards the end of the year will give a new horizon for the UK offshore wind industry for 2020 and beyond.
But 2016 will also be about establishing renewables as the obvious lowest-cost choice for consumers, politicians and businesses, as well as the planet. Like all resolutions, the hope that 2016 will be a transforming year will require determination and success is not guaranteed. I know that as an industry, we have the ability, adaptability and attitude to make that happen.
To mark the start of such a significant year, we’ll be producing several blogs this week on our thoughts, hopes and analysis for 2016. I hope you find them useful, thought provoking and interesting.