Offshore wind readies for new era of growth, GWEC says

According to the latest Global Offshore Wind Report released by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), the offshore wind industry had its best-ever year in 2021, with 21.1 GW of new capacity connected to the grid.

According to the report, the offshore wind industry is preparing for a new era of dramatic growth as governments turn to the technology and set ambitious new targets in their pursuit of energy security and affordability, as well as striving to meet new net zero emissions ambitions. The implementation of these upgraded targets should result in even more record-breaking years beginning in 2025.

According to GWEC’s Global Offshore Wind Report 2022, governments are becoming more ambitious about offshore wind. GWEC Market Intelligence raises its 2030 forecast by 45.3 GW, or 16.7 percent, from last year’s report, expecting 260 GW of new offshore wind capacity to be added in 2022-2030, bringing total global offshore wind installations to 316 GW by the end of this decade.

Offshore wind is already in a critical position for reaching net zero due to political commitment. As a result of the energy crisis and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, governments have increased their offshore wind targets in order to secure their energy supplies. According to the Global Offshore Wind Report 2022, government targets will bring the world to around 370 GW of capacity by 2031, which is close to the GWEC/IRENA Offshore Wind Energy Compact target of 380 GW of offshore wind installations by 2030.

To go even further and reach the 380 GW target by 2030, a massive effort is required to turn these ambitions into actions. Government, industry, and other stakeholders must collaborate to ensure that seabed concessions are granted at the appropriate pace, that planning processes are simplified and made more efficient, and that procurement schemes such as auctions can deliver sustainable prices that recognize the system and social value of offshore wind energy.

xIt is critical that governments and the private sector collaborate to ensure the existence of a well-functioning global supply chain capable of rapidly scaling up to meet growth over the next decade. At the moment, the supply chain’s health is jeopardized by inflationary pressures from commodity and logistics price increases, as well as a “race to the bottom” pricing strategy and uneven demand growth.

Inaction would jeopardize the opportunity for offshore wind to accelerate the energy transition by creating significant national and local jobs, driving economic growth, and lowering energy prices, all while supporting energy security.

The data

From 2020 to 2021, global grid connection increased threefold, with 21.1 GW of new installations bringing global capacity to 56 GW. With a 58 percent year-on-year increase, offshore wind now accounts for 7% of total global cumulative installations.

The data also shows clearly what tightly aligned ambition and action can achieve. China contributed 80% of new offshore installations last year, making 2021 the fourth year in a row that the country has led the world in new installations. Vietnam’s proactive approach resulted in additional capacity, and the Global Offshore Wind Report 2022 predicts that Asia will overtake Europe as the world’s largest offshore market by the end of 2022. According to the report, Europe may not reclaim its throne until 2031.

This year also marked the transition of floating offshore wind from the demonstration stage to the pre-commercial phase, with 57 MW of new installations bringing the total installed globally to 121.4 MW. There were 48 MW of new installations in the UK, 5.5 MW in China, and 3.6 MW in Norway.

According to the Global Offshore Wind Report 2022, 315 GW of new offshore wind capacity will be added by 2031, bringing total capacity to 370 GW – close to GWEC/target IRENA’s of 380 GW by 2030 for a net zero pathway. The volume of annual offshore wind installations is expected to more than double from 21.1 GW in 2021 to 54.9 GW in 2031, increasing offshore’s share of new global wind installations from 23% in 2021 to at least 30% by 2031.

Given the increased floating wind target in the UK and the accelerated floating project development activities in Europe, Asia, and North America, which bring the current global floating project pipeline to 120 GW, GWEC has increased its 2030 global floating wind forecast by 14% from last year’s report and predicts that 18.9 GW will be built globally by 2030, with 11 GW in Europe, 5.5 GW in Asia, and the remainder in North America.

GWEC Market Intelligence has identified over 700GW of offshore wind projects in various stages of development around the world, including 120 GW of floating wind.

Offshore wind projects with a total capacity of 23 GW are currently under construction. Europe now has a 49.5 percent market share in offshore wind project construction, followed by Asia (46.4 percent) and the United States ( 4.1 percent ). With 7.8 GW under construction, China is the most active market, followed by the United Kingdom (5.6 GW), the Netherlands (2.3 GW), Taiwan (2.1 GW), France (1.4 GW), and Germany (1.1 GW).

For the most recent data, GWEC members and GWEC Market Intelligence subscribers can download the 2022 Global Offshore Wind Project Pipeline Report, as well as the Global Offshore Wind Report, today.

Image source: GWEC

Input your search keywords and press Enter.