October 29 (Renewables Now) - The offshore wind power market in the Asia-Pacific region is set to witness a 20-fold increase in capacity to 43 GW in 2027, according to research and consultancy group Wood Mackenzie.
China is expected to be the local leader in the next decade, with its cumulative installed offshore wind capacity growing to 31 GW from 2 GW last year. Next will come Taiwan with 8.7 GW of capacity, which will make it the biggest offshore wind market in Asia-Pacific excluding China (APeC) by 2020. Robert Liew, senior analyst at Wood Mackenzie, noted that the country benefits from a relatively stable regulatory framework and a supportive government that has committed to phase out nuclear power by 2025.
In terms of investment, the market analyst projects that around USD 37 billion (EUR 32.5bn) will need to be spent in East Asia, including South Korea and Japan, for the expansion of offshore wind in the next five years.
"Future offshore wind prices are projected to be competitive with traditional thermal prices by 2025," Liew said.
Nevertheless, some challenges still need to be overcome to support offshore wind's growth. For example, a robust domestic offshore supply chain needs to be developed and there is space for improvement when it comes to technology. Strong commitments by regional governments are key for the growth of offshore wind.
"Fortunately, the experience in Europe is that when such support systems are in place, growth will be exponential given the increasing competitiveness of offshore wind prices, and developers eager to take advantage of economies of scale, local suppliers and opportunities in new markets," Liew said.
(USD 1.0 = EUR 0.878)