Photo: Ørsted/Illustration

GWEC: Offshore Wind Capacity to Top 234 GW by 2030

Global offshore wind capacity will surge to over 234 GW by 2030, led by exponential growth in the Asia-Pacific region and continued strong growth in Europe, according to a new report from the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC).

More than 205 GW of new offshore wind capacity will be added globally by 2030, including at least 6.2 GW of floating offshore wind, according to GWEC’s second edition of the Global Offshore Wind Report.

This represents a 15 GW increase from the forecasts in GWEC Market Intelligence’s pre-COVID forecast.

Ben Backwell, CEO at GWEC, said: “The report shows that 900,000 jobs will be created in the offshore sector over the next decade – and this number can only increase if policymakers put in place recovery strategies that can further accelerate growth of the sector. Furthermore, 1 GW of offshore wind power avoids 3.5 MT CO2 – making it the most effective available large-scale technology to avoid carbon emissions and displace fossil fuels in many geographies.

The report also finds that 2019 was the best year on record for offshore wind, with 6.1 GW of new capacity added globally, bringing total global cumulative installations to 29.1 GW.

China remains in the number one spot for the second year in a row for new installations, installing a record 2.4 GW, followed by the UK at 1.8 GW and Germany at 1.1 GW.

While Europe continues to be the leading region for offshore wind, countries in the Asia-Pacific region, such as Taiwan, Vietnam, Japan, and South Korea, as well as the US market are quickly picking up the pace and will be regions of significant growth in the next decade, GWEC said.

“The industry’s outlook has grown more promising as more and more countries around the world are waking up to the immense potential of offshore wind,” Feng Zhao, GWEC Strategy Director, said.

”As the market continues to grow, innovations in the sector such as floating offshore wind, larger and more efficient turbines, as well as Power-to-X solutions will continue to open new doors and markets for the sector and place the offshore industry in an increasingly important position to drive the global energy transition.”

The global offshore market has grown on average by 24 per cent each year since 2013.

Europe remains the largest market for offshore wind as of the end of 2019, making up 75 per cent of total global installations. Europe will continue to be a leader in offshore wind, with a 450 GW goal by 2050 driven by installations in the UK, Netherlands, France, Germany, Denmark, and Poland, with several other EU markets posting double-digit volumes.

The deployment of offshore wind in North America is expected to accelerate in the coming years with 23 GW forecasted to be installed by 2030.

The report also highlights increased activity level in the Asia-Pacific region thanks to increased national ambition, led by China where 52 GW of new offshore wind capacity is expected to be installed by 2030.

Taiwan is set to become the second-largest offshore wind market in Asia after Mainland China, with a goal of 5.5 GW by 2025 and an additional 10 GW by 2035.

Other markets in the region are also beginning to scale-up their offshore wind markets, with Vietnam, Japan and South Korea expected to install 5.2 GW, 7.2 GW and 12 GW of offshore wind capacity respectively.

GWEC is organising a webinar on 12 August with the report authors and MHI Vestas to discuss key findings and how to accelerate offshore wind development.

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