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The global floating wind power market size was valued at USD 0.29 billion in 2021. The market is projected to grow from USD 0.68 billion in 2022 to USD 15.64 billion by 2029, exhibiting a CAGR of 56.5% during the forecast period. The global COVID-19 pandemic has been unprecedented and staggering, with floating wind power witnessing a lower-than-anticipated demand across all regions compared to the pre-pandemic levels. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited a decline of -57.7% in 2020 as compared to 2019.
Floating wind power is mounted on a floating structure in infeasible offshore locations where a fixed-foundation is difficult due to extreme water depths. Offshore wind power plays a significant role in achieving the renewable target in most countries worldwide. The floating wind power market is driven by increasing energy demand and adoption of renewables for energy production.
Floating wind farms have already been proven beneficial in harsh environmental conditions and hold immense opportunities for harnessing a huge amount of power. China, the U.K., Germany, Japan, and Norway are among the leading countries in the global market. In terms of new offshore wind power installation, the U.K., Spain, China, and Norway showed tremendous growth in 2021. The trend will follow as per their latest renewable energy investment plans.
The global market is set to grow as the demand for floating wind power installation is rising due to the availability of advanced technology, operational advantages, and turnkey solutions provided by various service providers. This, in turn, will encourage many governments, institutions, and offshore operators to experience the potential of floating wind power. The rising demand for clean energy is likely to boost the global market size from 2022 to 2029.
COVID-19 Pandemic Caused Energy Demand to Plummet with a Historic Downfall
The ongoing outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted market growth. Major economies, such as China, the U.K., Japan, and the U.S., are considered the major countries for establishing new floating wind power plants. However, the coronavirus has taken a toll on them. As per the International Energy Agency (IEA), coronavirus has caused the electricity demand to plummet with a historic downfall, recording a fall of 5% in 2020. During the COVID 19 crisis, renewables have been supported by favorable policies, less expensive sources, favoring cheaper and cleaner sources, resulting in renewable energy being the cheapest source of energy. According to an IRENA report, in 2020, the global weighted-average levelised cost of electricity (LCOE) from new offshore wind capacity additions declined by 9% in the last decade.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, governments introduced full lockdown, resulting in depressed electricity demand at historical levels in many countries and an oversupply of available power capacity. For instance, China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) extended its 5% electricity price cuts until 2020 to help companies affected by COVID-19. Also, in June 2020, China Life Insurance signed an agreement with State Power Investment Corporation (SPIC) to set up a fund of USD 1.1 billion for clean energy. Additionally, the coronavirus outbreak has impacted the expansion of the electricity distribution network in developing countries. It is set to directly hamper the market growth during the projected period.
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Offshore Wind Energy Targets will Attract Enormous Investments to Bolster Market Growth
In 2021, the U.S. Department of Energy announced a funding opportunity to encourage huge investment in this market to establish research & development in floating offshore wind energy targets to generate power on a large scale. Green energy targets have put many countries' interest in floating offshore wind farms. According to the International Energy Agency 2019 report, offshore wind, including floating wind power can generate 11 times more electricity than the world's requirement, through which USD 1 trillion could attract investments by 2040.
The world's first commercial floating wind farm of 30MW capacity was set up by joint efforts of various countries and was named Hywind Scotland. At the end of 2030, the U.K. has set a target of 30GW of offshore wind energy. In 2020, France announced a 5.2-6.2 GW offshore wind power project that will be completely established by 2028. BW Ideol is one of the leading integrated platforms for floating wind farms in the South of Brittany and will also be involved in the development project of floating wind farms in Taiwan. The Biden-Harris Administration in the U.S. has a target to reach a goal of 30GW of offshore capacity by 2030. In 2019, the Department of Energy introduced the ATLANTIS program for 12 research projects with more than USD 100 million investment. Hitachi successfully manufactured floating wind turbines of 2MW and 5MW of capacity, and Mitsubishi produced floating wind turbines with 7MW of capacity. South Korea has targeted to reach 12GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030, out of which 6 GW of power will be generated by floating wind turbines. The South Korean government has announced USD 1.17 billion to develop floating wind farms in Ulsan with an expected capacity of 1.4GW by 2025.
Operative Advantage of Floating Wind Over Fixed Offshore Structure is a Vital Trend
Floating wind farms do not need land for installation as in the case of onshore wind farms. Floating turbines can more easily avoid migratory flight paths and breeding and feeding grounds, reducing bird death rates. Floating offshore wind has the potential for a green revolution. There are four major types of floating wind foundations, which are deep-water floating spar, semi-submersible, Tension-Leg Platform (TLP), and barge. Powering electrolysis to produce clean hydrogen fuel, decarbonizing energy-intensive extraction industries, and desalination of seawater are some examples that add fuel to maintain environmental balance. Floating offshore wind requires an easier setup using subsea cables and delivers a higher energy yield. Floating wind farms can withstand harsh atmospheric conditions with the strongest wind flow. These operative advantages drive the market growth.
Increasing Shift Toward Clean Energy Generation to Drive Growth
The increase in consumption of power results in carbon emissions, leading the developing and underdeveloped countries to adopt renewable energy resources. Renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind, are more dominant in reducing carbon emissions resulting in the development of wind farms. Advancement and technical research have resulted in offshore wind farms coming into existence. Thus, renewable energy sources have driven the floating wind farm market.
As per the World Energy Investment Report 2021 by International Energy Agency (IEA), renewable energy will have the largest share of around 70% of the total USD 530 million, which could be used for a new power generation plant. Demand for carbon-neutral electricity from consumers has led to technological development and a well-established supply chain as the future energy outlook.
Rising Investments in the Sustainable Energy Development to Boost Growth
Wind energy is the fastest-growing renewable energy with low carbon emissions and less pollution. The global wind energy market has grown in recent years, as per Global Wind Energy Council. The development and management of wind farms, power generation by wind energy, and distribution boost investment in energy development.
Iberdrola is a Spain-based multinational electric utility company. This company engages in power generation distribution and specializes in clean energy, including onshore and offshore wind. In December 2021, Iberdrola signed an agreement with Siemens Gamesa for 1928 MW of maintenance services contract across Spain and Portugal for three and five years.
High Capital Investments May Restrain Market Growth
The high initial investment can restrain the market growth of floating wind power. The installation and maintenance of power cables under the seafloor to transit electricity back onshore can be expensive. It is hard to construct a robust and secure wind farm in water deeper than 200 feet (~60m). Floating wind turbines are beginning to overcome these problems. Expensive research and establishment of floating wind farms restrain the market growth. Wave action, heavy storms, and hurricanes can damage wind turbines. The initial cost of predevelopment of wind farms, legal authorization, technical aspects, engineering activities, and similar other parameters add fuel to restrain the development of floating wind turbines
Deep Water Segment to Hold Larger Share Backed by its Possession of Numerous Advantages
Based on water depth, the market is segmented into shallow water (<30m depth), transitional water (30m - 60m depth), and deep water (>60m depth). The deep water segment is expected to hold a larger floating wind power market share and is anticipated to grow further due to the wide advantage of floating wind farm installation in deep water. Major advantages of this type of installation include deep waters having higher wind speeds and no obstructions in the wind path, which enhances the potential of capturing wind energy. In some countries with a narrow continental shelf, floating foundations are considered to open doors to new opportunities for large-scale deployment of wind farms, thereby pushing the demand for floating wind power.
Shallow water and transitional water floating wind turbines act as a preferred alternative for fixed bottom foundations ranging from a depth of 25m to 50m. These offer numerous advantages, such as less capital, environmental benefits, and readily available installation vessels. These factors are expected to boost their installations at depths up to 60m.
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Above 5MW Segment to Grow Significantly Fueled by Rising Number of Planned Wind Farm Construction
Based on turbine capacity, the market is categorized into up to 3 MW, 3 MW - 5 MW, and above 5 MW. Generally, the deployment of a wind farm depends on the expected power and the available capital. Since heavy capital is a prerequisite for a wind farm, a higher capacity wind farm is considered a feasible investment, looking at the future returns. Following the same trend, new wind farms sanctioned for construction are of a higher capacity, which is above 5 MW. Therefore, this segment holds a larger portion of the market share.
Since 2013, various pilot projects have been carried out globally, and most of them hold a capacity of 2MW to 5MW. The demonstration projects in Japan, the U.K., and Germany are perfect examples. Such projects are expected to come up in countries that hold potential but still stand unexplored in the market. This will drive the investment for the up to 3MW and the 3MW-5MW segments in the coming years.
The market is analyzed across the U.S., the U.K., Germany, France, Spain, Sweden, Japan, China, Norway, and the rest of the world.
Many important projects are anticipated to be commenced in Norway. The 88 MW Hywind Tampen project by Equinor is under development and is anticipated to be functional by 2022. The floating wind foundation is anticipated to be located in waters of an approximate depth of 300m.
Japan currently dominates the Asia Pacific region in the global market. As per the Japan Wind Power Association, the country aims to expand installed floating offshore wind capacity to 4 gigawatts (GW) by 2030 and 18 GW in 2050, which will further attract many investors. Globally, The U.K. dominates the market with an annual installation of 47.5 MW and also has an offshore floating wind target of 1 GW by 2030. The majority of the target is anticipated to be built off the coast of Scotland and in the Southwestern waters near the U.K.
Following Japan, the U.K., France, the U.S., and Sweden are some other countries that possess installed floating wind farms. Looking at the planned installation of floating wind power, other countries, such as Germany, Spain, and Norway, are expected to emerge as influential stakeholders in the market during the forecast period.
The rest of the world region accounts for South Korea, Ireland, Taiwan, Italy, Saudi Arabia, and Portugal. Portugal's 25.3 MW WindFloat Atlantic project, which EDF, Engie, and Repsol built, was commissioned in 2019.
Companies Focus on Mergers & Acquisitions and Partnerships to Gain Competitive Edge
Various regional and international players are consistently working on formulating advanced strategies to take a competitive advantage. Many companies are forming mergers & acquisitions and partnership & collaboration strategies to enable market growth. For instance, in January 2020, Siemens Gamesa acquired Senvion's European Service assets and Intellectual Property (IP). This led to the addition of an approximately 9 GW service fleet and operations in 13 countries.
An Infographic Representation of Floating Wind Power Market
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The global report provides a detailed analysis of the market and focuses on key aspects such as leading companies, product/service types, and leading applications of the product. Besides, the report offers insights into the floating wind power market trends and highlights key industry developments. In addition to the factors above, the report encompasses several factors that contributed to the growth of the market in recent years.
Volume (MW), Value (USD Billion)
By Water Depth
By Turbine Capacity
As per the Fortune Business Insights study, the floating wind power market size was USD 0.29 billion in 2021.
The floating wind power market is likely to grow at a CAGR of 56.5% over the forecast period (2022-2029).
The above 5 MW segment is expected to lead the floating wind power market due to the development of large wind farms requiring larger turbines globally.
The market size in Norway stood at USD 0.02 billion in 2021.
The operative advantages of floating wind over fixed offshore structures and rising investments in sustainable energy development to boost growth are expected to drive the market growth.
Some of the top players in the market are Siemens Gamesa, MHI Vestas, and Hitachi.
The U.K. dominated the market in terms of new installations in 2021.
The high initial investment and the installation and maintenance of power cables under the seafloor to transit electricity are expensive. Expensive research and establishment of floating wind farms restrain its deployment globally.
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