Survey results show: German offshore wind industry relies on export business
For an export analysis on the markets of Japan, Taiwan and the USA, the German Offshore Wind Initiative GOI surveyed around 100 companies in the German offshore wind industry. The results are informative and show that many of them are already active in at least one of the countries, the rest are looking for opportunities to gain a foothold there. The project therefore sees great potential, particularly for SMEs, to provide on-site support when looking for a partner.
The “German Offshore Wind Initiative GOI” project aims to support German offshore companies in developing attractive export opportunities to the three focus markets of Japan, Taiwan and the USA. In order to gain an overview of previous export activities, export opportunities and obstacles in the respective markets, an online survey was carried out between April and May 2021 with around 100 companies from the entire German offshore value chain.
The development and evaluation of the survey took place in cooperation with the company wind: research . In-depth interviews with a further 25 industry representatives then gave a detailed insight into relevant topics.
Long tradition & a lot of know-how
In addition to information on the size of the company, sales volume and number of employees, the length of time they belonged to the industry was queried. With an astonishing result: Almost all of the companies surveyed have been in the offshore wind business since 2015 and are therefore among the “first movers”. And: The German offshore wind industry is characterized by a very heterogeneous corporate structure that operates at all stages of the value chain. This results in a considerable pool of experience and know-how, which are of immense importance for entering foreign markets. In particular, companies in countries that are only on the threshold of emerging offshore wind nations can benefit enormously from these competencies.
High export potential
There is also an extremely high willingness to export among the companies surveyed. The focus on the German domestic market is no longer productive enough and entails too high an entrepreneurial risk. For this reason, almost all corporate strategies include a global perspective – the topic of international expansion is omnipresent. Many companies are already active in the Japanese, Taiwanese and US markets and are looking for ways to expand them. The rest are interested in entering the market in at least one of these countries – Taiwan in particular is considered to be a very attractive and well-developed offshore wind market.
Preferred market entry strategy: Local partners
The local project and partner search is given as the preferred market entry strategy. This is especially true for small and medium-sized companies, which naturally have less investment capital. Another strategy aims to “piggyback” with large developers in the markets. Only in the last step is the establishment of own subsidiaries considered.
The hurdles and risks involved in entering the market are very different depending on the market. While cultural differences are perceived to be negligible in the USA, they are significantly higher in Japan, for example. On the other hand, the competition with market competitors in Taiwan is considered to be particularly high. Laws and framework conditions are the greatest hurdle in each of the three countries.
Support from the German Offshore Wind Initiative GOI
This is exactly where the work of the German Offshore Wind Initiative starts. As part of the project activities, measures were developed to provide targeted support to German companies in their entry into the three target markets.
This initially included the hiring of the three foreign representatives Sayuri Watanabe in Tokyo, David Chiang in Taipei and Mike Matthews in New York. In cooperation with the local chambers of foreign trade, they form a bridge to local companies and advise, for example, on finding a partner or setting up subsidiaries. In addition, they regularly provide German companies with the latest market information. These are shared quarterly via webinars and continuously via LinkedIn and the newsletter of the German Offshore Wind Initiative GOI. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our representatives for the most up-to-date market activities and information. In addition, the initiative offers needs-based and targeted networking options; the dates can be found on our website.
About the German Offshore Wind Initiative GOI
The German Offshore Wind Initiative GOI is a joint project of the OFFSHORE WINDENERGIE Foundation and the World Forum Offshore Wind (WFO) . The export promotion project is funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) with around EUR 2.7 million until the end of 2023.
The complete results of the export analysis can be downloaded here as a PDF (only available in German).
We would like to take this opportunity to thank all companies that have either participated in the online survey or an expert interview.