Driven by falling costs, offshore wind is now increasingly competitive with land-based turbines and solar and nuclear power, even without subsidies.Offshore wind projects coming online today are already delivering power at almost half the price of those finished in 2012 thanks to larger turbines and greater competition. Globally, a record $29.9 billion was invested in offshore wind in 2016, up 40 percent from the year before, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. BNEF expects investment to grow to $115 billion by 2020. In Europe, the price of building an offshore wind farm has fallen 46 percent in the last five years – 22 percent last year alone. Erecting turbines in the seabed now costs an average $126 for each megawatt-hour of capacity, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. That’s below the $155 a megawatt-hour price for new nuclear developments in Europe and closing in on the $88 price tag on new coal plants, the London-based researcher estimates. In Denmark, where the government shoulders much of the development risk, Vattenfall last year agreed to supply power from turbines in the North Sea at 60 euros ($64) a megawatt-hour in 2020. In the United States, the government’s official goal for now is to install 86 gigawatts of turbines at sea by 2050. That’s six times the 14 gigawatts of capacity now in place worldwide, according to the Global Wind Energy Council.

– via Bloomberg / Jess Shankelman and Brian Parkin

 

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