At this time of year, there are many predictions about what will happen in the next 12 months, not least on our own website! These predictions are often interesting but usually are subject to uncertainty, opinion or conjecture.
The BVG Associates models I help to keep up to date means we can forecast with a reasonable degree of certainty that the following will happen within the next 12 months:
1. In the UK, Burbo Bank Extension, Dudgeon and Rampion are expected to install their first turbines in 2016. We will also likely see Statoil start offshore construction on its 30MW Hywind 2 floating offshore wind project, ready for turbine installation in 2017.
2. In Germany, Gode Wind 1 and 2 is expected to be commissioned during 2016, whilst Sandbank and Veja Mate are expected to install their first turbines. In total, the UK will add about another 750MW of installed capacity and Germany will add about another 1GW during 2016.
3. The Netherlands will more than double its offshore capacity as the Gemini project finishes construction, adding 600MW. It is expected to be commissioned in 2017.
4. The US will finally see the commissioning of its first offshore wind farm, Block Island.
5. China will see the continued construction of Longyuan Putian Nanri Island wind farm after its first turbines were installed in late 2015. It is expected to be commissioned in 2018.
We shouldn’t forget the 165MW Nobelwind project off the coast of Belgium nor the smaller demonstration projects likely to be installed in 2016. We also look forward to the promised next round of CfD auctions in the UK towards the end of the year. Of course, the industry has a much longer outlook than what is planned. Block Island should prove to be a watershed in the US. This year should also reveal further encouraging signs emerge around the world. I’ll be paying particular attention to developments in Asian offshore wind markets.
I suspect that during 2016, I’ll have a busy year making sure our offshore wind models remain up-to-date and robust!