Offshore wind power
Offshore wind power refers to the construction of wind farms in bodies of water to generate electricity from wind. Stronger wind speeds are available offshore compared to on land, so offshore wind power’s contribution in terms of electricity supplied is higher, and NIMBY opposition to construction is usually much weaker. However, offshore wind farms are relatively expensive. At the end of 2012, 1,662 turbines at 55 offshore wind farms across 10 European countries were generating electricity enough to power almost five million households.As of 2010 Siemens and Vestas were turbine suppliers for 90% of offshore wind power, while Dong Energy, Vattenfall and E.on were the leading offshore operators. As of October 2010, 3.16 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind power capacity was operational, mainly in Northern Europe. According to BTM Consult, more than 16 GW of additional capacity will be installed before the end of 2014 and the United Kingdom and Germany will become the two leading markets. Offshore wind power capacity is expected to reach a total of 75 GW worldwide by 2020, with significant contributions from China and the United States.As of 2013 the 630 megawatt (MW) London Array is the largest offshore wind farm in the world, with the 504 (MW) Greater Gabbard wind farm is the second largest, followed by the 367 MW Walney Wind Farm. All are off the coast of the UK. These projects will be dwarfed by subsequent wind farms that are in the pipeline, including Dogger Bank at 7,200 MW, Norfolk Bank (7,200 MW), and Irish Sea (4,200 MW). At the end of June 2013 total European combined offshore wind energy capacity was 6,040 MW. UK installed 513.5 MW offshore windpower in the first half year of 2013.