BNEF: Offshore wind financing skyrockets in 2020

Offshore wind financings in the first six months of 2020 totaled $35 billion, up by a record 319% year-on-year, according to BloombergNEF (BNEF).

The BNEF data shows that offshore wind had by far its busiest half-year ever for final investment decisions, well above 2019’s record full-year figure, a revised $31.9 billion.

The first half of the year saw investment decisions made on 28 offshore wind farms, including the largest ever, the 1.5 GW Hollandse Kust Zuid off the coast of the Netherlands, costing an estimated $3.9 billion.

Other major deals included the 1.1 GW Seagreen project off the UK, at an estimated $3.8 billion, the 600 MW Changfang Xidao off Taiwan, at an estimated $3.6 billion, and the Fecamp and Saint-Brieuc projects in French waters, together totaling 993 MW and $5.4 billion.

According to BNEF, there were no fewer than 17 Chinese installations financed, led by the Guangdong Yudean Yangjiang Yangxi Shapaat 600 MW and $1.8 billion.

This is said to have more than offset declines in investment in solar, onshore wind and biomass.

“Offshore wind is benefitting from the 67% reduction in levelized costs achieved since 2012, and to the performance of the latest, giant turbines,” said Tom Harries, Head of wind analysis.

“But the first half of this year also owed a lot to a rush in China to finance and build, in order to take advantage of a feed-in tariff before it expires at the end of 2021. I expect a slowdown in offshore wind investment globally in the second half, with potentially a new spike early next year.”

Overall investment in new renewable energy capacity, excluding large hydro-electric dams, was $132.4 billion in the first half of 2020, up 5% from a revised $125.8 billion in the same period last year.

China was the largest market again, investing $41.6 billion in 1H 2020, up 42% compared to the same period in 2019 thanks to its offshore wind boom, while Europe secured $36.5 billion, up 50%.

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