- We expect to see wind farm sizes continue to increase over the coming decade, as developers seek to reduce costs through increased scale.
- The typical size of wind turbines, offshore technology in particular, shows signs of a rapid increase.
- European manufacturers continue to lead the wind project pipeline, as developers turn to large technology to reduce costs.
We expect to see wind farm sizes continue to increase over the coming decade, as developers seek to reduce costs through increased scale. Our Infrastructure Key Projects Data highlights that the coming 10 years will see the average size of both offshore and onshore wind farms increase. Taking data with known construction end dates between 2012 and 2022, the average wind farm size remained at 130MW and 310MW for onshore and offshore wind respectively. By 2031, we expect this to rise to 370MW and 850MW for onshore and offshore wind respectively across known projects in development. We highlight that developers are increasingly looking to leverage economies of scale with their construction process, which coupled with the sector's maturity has made it significantly easier to manufacture larger scale turbines.
Part of this onshore scale increase is due to rising turbine sizes, alongside the vast scale of some markets wind resource-rich and sparsely populated regions. This is true for markets such as Australia, The US and Mainland China, which see an average project size of 250-400MWs, while European projects across the Netherlands, Austria and Germany range between 80-150MW. Higher land prices in European markets and dense populations have constrained size in the region, and we expect that the new globalised reach of wind technology will see new vast developments in new markets. That said, we do highlight that repowering and replacing of older equipment on pre-established sites with new more powerful technology will rise in prominence across Europe. Pre-established grid connections will also help to reduce costs in this regard.
The typical size of Offshore wind turbine technology farms, in particular, shows signs of a rapid increase in size. Our data also highlights that the size of a wind turbine is increasing, with the 2019-2021 average for onshore wind at 2.9MW and 6.2MW for offshore. However, looking accross the known project equipment being used over the coming decade we expect this range between technologies to widen with the average onshore turbine size of 3.6MW and offshore turbine of 9.4MW. This shift, as represented below, has been very swift for the offshore sector and will continue to an average peak of 11.3MW by 2025. We expect that this more rapid shift to large technology will be driven by the need to tackle costs more aggressively in the offshore segment.
For offshore wind, these turbines have better power generation capacity factors and lower lifespan costs, which is particularly attractive for project developers. As a result, manufacturers are aiming to have the technology available in the next few years so that they can take advantage of the new wave of offshore wind projects that have been filed in Europe, the United States, Latin America and Asia.
European manufacturers continue to lead the wind project pipeline as developers turn to large technology to reduce costs. We expect that European equipment providers will dominate the global supply of wind turbines, with their footprint set to increase globally. Many new projects are being announced in the Americas and South-East Asia and we see that European firms are establishing dominance in these regions as well as setting up global manufacturing capabilities and supply chains.