During 2016 the cost of offshore wind energy has more expensive to install than onshore wind energy. This is mainly because of the high cost of carrying out engineering work at sea. However, offshore wind turbines are significantly larger than onshore wind turbines and can deliver much larger amounts of electricity than onshore turbines. But this picture is changing rapidly. A cost reduction programme, being carried out by the European wind turbine industry in conjunction with the European Commission, has already delivered significant reductions in the cost of installing offshore wind turbines.
An industry statement early in 2016 predicted that if the European wind turbine manufacturing industry is provided with an ongoing stream of offshore wind projects, the cost of electricity from offshore wind turbines will drop to less than €80 per MWh by 2025. This was followed by a remarkable series of tenders for offshore wind contracts in Denmark and Belgium where the cost of the electricity generated was below the industry prediction and was as low as €54.00 per MWh.
Independent reports carried out for the EU electricity industry support this prediction, stating that electricity from offshore wind will be cheaper than gas-fired electricity by 2020. Already in 2016, the Borssele offshore wind farm off the Netherlands coast has delivered a price ex-grid even lower – see here.. In contrast, and as an example, the UK Government has arranged that the new nuclear reactor at Hinckley Point will have a guaranteed income of almost €110 per MWh in 2012 prices. Offshore wind is already at a level of half of the new nuclear price.