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Total global investment in offshore wind power will reach approximately $170 billion by 2020, according to a report from Roland Berger Strategy Consultants. In Europe alone, there will be 40 GW of installed offshore capacity by the same year.

The study, however, warns that challenges remain. For example, the pursuit of larger wind farms at deeper water depths leads to more expensive and complicated projects. In order to compete with other energy resources, the study says the offshore wind industry must lower the cost of offshore generation by about 30% by 2020 through the use of new financial models, innovation of technologies and demand for political stability.

"The offshore wind industry will become increasingly important in the years ahead, because transforming the energy system without this one central pillar would be difficult to imagine," says Marcus M. Weber, partner at Roland Berger Strategy Consultants. "That makes it all the more important for the industry to quickly achieve cost-cutting industrialization effects, and for the government to stake out a reliable framework."

The report, titled "Offshore Wind Toward 2020 – On the Pathway to Cost Competitiveness,” is available here.



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