2011 offshore wind installations of about 1000 MW represented approximately 2.5% of the annual market, according to GWEC's figures.

More than 90% of the world’s offshore wind power is currently installed off northern Europe. Most of the rest is accounted for by two ‘demonstration’ projects off China’s east coast. 

The UK is maintaining its position as world leader in offshore wind. In fact, the UK already gets close to 2% of its net electricity consumption from offshore wind, and this is set to grow to 17-20% in 10 years’ time.

However, GWEC notes that it’s an exciting new technology and a new business, and governments and companies in Japan, Korea, the United States, Canada and even India have shown great interest. By 2020 GWEC believes it will have a much better picture of offshore wind’s long term prospects outside of northern Europe and China.

This article is an excerpt from the feature Wind power – emerging markets drive growth published in the July/August issue of Reinforced Plastics magazine.