Technological Learning in the Energy Sector

Technological Learning in the Energy Sector

Lessons for Policy, Industry and Science

Edited by Martin Junginger, Wilfried van Sark and André Faaij

Technological learning is a key driver behind the improvement of energy technologies and subsequent reduction of production costs. Understanding how and why production costs for energy technologies decline, and whether they will continue to do so in the future, is of crucial importance for policy makers, industrial stakeholders and scientists alike. This timely and informative book therefore provides a comprehensive review of technological development and cost reductions for renewable energy, clean fossil fuel and energy-efficient demand-side technologies.

Chapter 7: Offshore Wind Energy

Paul Lako, Martin Junginger, Lena Neij, Sander Lensink and Wouter Engels

Subjects: economics and finance, energy economics, environment, energy policy and regulation, innovation and technology, technology and ict


Paul Lako, Martin Junginger, Lena Neij, Wouter Engels and Sander Lensink 7.1 INTRODUCTION Compared to onshore wind energy, offshore wind farms have been installed only fairly recently, starting with a single turbine in Sweden in 1990. In the early demonstration phase during the 1990s, wind farms with a maximum of 10 turbines and a size of up to 2 MW were built. Starting in the year 2000, the average size of offshore wind farms increased significantly. The size of wind turbines increased from 2 to 5 MW between 2000 and 2007. By the end of 2008, a total of 25 offshore wind farms were operational with a combined capacity of over 1500 MW. In 2008, the following EU countries had installed offshore wind farms: Denmark, UK, Sweden, the Netherlands, Ireland, Belgium and Finland. The electricity production costs of offshore wind farms are generally much higher than the costs of electricity from fossil fuel sources. Therefore, offshore wind farms have so far been built only in countries with dedicated policy support. In 2008, the following countries had market stimulation policies in place: Denmark, UK, Sweden, the Netherlands, Ireland, Belgium, Germany, Spain and France. The stimulation policies include Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROCs) and both feed-in premiums and tariffs. Only in the countries mentioned previously has experience been gained with offshore wind energy. However, there are plans for the development of offshore wind farms in the USA and South-East Asia. In Figure 7.1, an overview is given of offshore wind farm capacity installed...

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