July 5 - A report by global business consultants, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, on the business case for the offshore wind power industry has determined that the industry "has some way to go to prove it can take its place as a sustainable part of the energy mix

While the continuing growth of offshore facilities is mainly positive for those heavy lift shipping lines and contractors involved in the physical installation of towers, turbines and power cables to the mainland as well as the associated infrastructure, the wider case for such power generation is not quite so clear.

The survey, 'Turning windpower promise into performance', is based on field research by GBI Research, and involved 57 interviews with executives from across the industry in 12 countries in a format which provides interesting food for thought.

The report suggests that biggest challenge facing the industry is to bring costs, including shipping, transportation and installation, down to a range where offshore windpower can compete in the energy mix with little or no subsidy. However, the outlook among contractors/OEMs for cost reductions is mixed. The greatest expectation is of a cost decrease in real terms (42 percent of respondents) but many do not foresee any reduction with a 25 percent actually predicting cost increases. 

For more information about the report visit: http://www.pwc.co.uk/eng/publications/turning-windpower-promise-into-performance.html