Global offshore wind capacity could grow eightfold by 2030, reaching 234GW (from the 29.1GW registered last year) according to a new report. It anticipates an exponential growth of the sector over the next decade in the Asia-Pacific region as well as continued strong growth in Europe.
The Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) published its Global Offshore Wind Report for 2020, which provides an overview of the sector worldwide. The council revised its forecast for 2030 up by 15GW after the fastest ever growth registered in 2019, when new wind farms added 6.1GW to the global count.
"Offshore wind is truly going global, as governments around the world recognize the role that the technology can play in kickstarting post-COVID economic recovery through large-scale investment, creating jobs and bringing economic development to coastal communities," said Ben Blackwell, CEO at GWEC, in a press release.
The offshore market has grown on average by almost a quarter every year since 2013, the report showed, mainly by a larger number of new projects in Europe, which as 75% of the world’s wind farms. Nevertheless, the rate of growth is expected to pick up in the next decade due to an array of new projects.
China remained in the number one spot for the second year in a row for new installations, adding a record 2.4 GW, followed by the UK at 1.8 GW and Germany at 1.1 GW. Europe is still the leading region for offshore wind, but countries in the Asia-Pacific region as well as the US are picking up the pace.
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 the growth of the sector. Furthermore, the report found that every 1GW of offshore wind power saves an equivalent of 2.5 million tons of CO2 in emissions.
Feng Zhao, GWEC Strategy Director, said: |The industry’s outlook has grown more promising as more countries around the world are waking up to the immense potential of offshore wind. As the market continues to grow, innovations in the sector such as floating offshore wind will continue to open new doors and markets."
The report estimates that by the end of the decade China will host more than a fifth of the world’s offshore wind turbines, totaling 52GW, while the UK will reach 40.3GW. The third-largest market for offshore wind by 2030 will be North America, where offshore wind capacity will reach 23GW.