Market analysis: Decommissioning offshore wind is an overall opportunity

20 December 2019 - Published by Jonas Nørgård Larsen
“Europe will set the agenda worldwide for decommissioning of offshore wind”. A new market analysis from the Interreg North Sea project DecomTools highlights the potential of the afterlife of offshore wind farms.

Most offshore wind farms are designed for an effective lifespan of between 20 and 25 years. After that, each park is either replaced by modern components or decommissioned with a sensible dispose of the individual components.

The DecomTools project gathers partners from Germany, Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands, the UK and Norway in a four-year project that devices and develops eco-innovative concepts for decommissioning. As part of the project, a brand-new market analysis of offshore wind and decommissioning has been published. The author, Mirko Kruse, Junior Researcher atHamburg Instittute of International Economics, explains:

“First and foremost, I was surprised by the number of offshore wind turbines that are expected to be decommissioned over the coming years” Mr. Kruse says:

“Over the next few years, we are looking at a large amount of turbines in need of replacement og decommissionering. Offshore wind being a rather young industry, the amount was larger than expected”, he says.

According to the market analysis, the number of turbines coming into question for decommissioning will steadily increase from 2020 onwards. It is estimated that 22 turbines in 2020, 80 turbines in 2022 and 123 turbines in 2023 will raise the question of how decommissioning can be organised. 

Download the market analysis

Europe as world leader
According to Mirko Kruse Europe will have a unique potential within the field of decommissioning.

“We have an overall opportunity in Europe when it comes to decommissioning. Wind Europe expects a 253GW installed capacity by 2030 in Europe; with 70 GW installed offshore. Decommissioning is a very important issue able to expand the competencies within the European industry,” Mr. Kruse explains:

“Decommissioning of offshore wind can become a European expertise to be used in our own region and in other booming offshore wind markets such as Asia and North America,” says Mr. Kruse.