RenewableUK has published a report highlighting opportunities for UK companies to secure multi-million pound contracts in the fast-growing global market for manufacturing and installing offshore wind cables.
The report was published ahead of RenewableUK’s Cables 2018 conference in Aberdeen on 31 October 2018 and highlights the increasingly important role that power cables will play in the energy system as offshore wind becomes a major global power source.
The new document Offshore Wind Cable Manufacturing and Installation Forecast 2018-2028 is the first of its kind to offer global, regional and national market forecasts, including details of when and where contracts for array and export cables will be coming up. It also includes profiles of leading companies working in the sector, including the thriving supply chain, many of which are based in the UK, supplying projects here and around the world.
The UK is expected to be the biggest cable market globally between 2018 and 2028, worth £3.64Bn (US$4.64Bn), with more than 19 GW of capacity due to be installed, requiring over 9,300 km of cabling – equivalent to the distance from London to Tokyo.
China is expected to need 6,550 km and Germany more than 4,400 km over the next 10 years. Overall, the global market for offshore wind array and export cables is forecast to be worth £13.6Bn if all the projects in the international pipeline come to fruition.
The report shows that the biggest window of opportunity is imminent – between 2019 and 2023. For example, in the UK alone, more than 3,000 km of cables due to be installed in the next five years have yet to be awarded to an installation company. This is longer than the distance between John o’Groats and Gibraltar. Contracts to manufacture over 2,400 km for UK projects in that period have also yet to be signed.
The research reveals that the annual rate of global cable installations is set to almost double in the next six years, peaking in 2024. In that year, over 4,300 km of array and export cables will be installed, in contracts worth £1.7Bn. This will be driven mainly by projects in the UK, Germany, Taiwan and the USA. China, France and the Netherlands will also become significant players in the next decade. Poland and Ireland will enter the market too.