2014: Floating into the future

Offshore, we shall see the development of “real integrated design”, in which the whole turbine structure will be analysed and designed with highly sophisticated tools.

A potent mix of dynamic modelling and control system design will bring substantial cost reductions.

But for the real excitement, we should look at floating turbines.

Onshore, “rotor stretching” will continue to provide the right-sized rotors for particular site conditions — mundane but mighty. Perhaps we shall see Class 1, Class 2, Class 3, Class Brazil.

Regulatory risk will remain at the top of the list of concerns for established markets, particularly the EU. We await the outcome of the crucial debate about post-2020 targets and hope to see an announcement of the 2030 triple target — that one action would restore the confidence needed for major investment to resume.

I expect a new look at the market structure in many countries as a result of the huge success of the renewables industry.

In the EU, I predict a market size similar to 2013. Spain and Portugal will remain dead, as will many of the new markets in the east. Some of the northern countries will be buoyant.

I envisage bright sparks in Latin America for 2014 (let’s see what happens thereafter) and the US will be big. Turkey will also be bright and the oil states will continue developing renewables.

India looks quite promising and China will be big compared with other markets, but cooling, although I expect more offshore activity there.

Andrew Garrad is a supervisory board member at DNV GL-Energy and a member of Recharge’s Thought Leaders Club

This piece was published in The Recharge World in 2014 supplement produced for the Holmenkollen Thought Leaders Summit