2019 Was the Best Year for Offshore Wind With 6.1 GW of Capacity Addition_ Report

By the end of 2020, the offshore wind energy industry will see 6.6 GW of installations worldwide.  According to the latest Global Wind Energy Council’s (GWEC) report, despite the negative impact of COVID-19, offshore wind installations would excel worldwide as governments see the segment as a major contributor to economic recovery.

The report 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.

Offshore wind suffered the least during the pandemic than other energy sectors. The segment is expected to add 900,000 jobs in the next decade with continued growth and act as a key driver for a global green recovery.

The offshore market has grown on average by 24% every year since 2013; and will add roughly 234 GW by 2030- a meteoric rise from 29.1 GW at the end of 2019- led by an exponential growth in the Asia-Pacific region along with sustained strong growth in Europe.

The forecast conducted by the GWEC market intelligence states that in the next decade, more than 205 GW of new offshore wind capacity will be added globally – a 15 GW increase from last year’s outlook. This development draws its impetus from policy ambition, declining technology costs, and international commitments towards decarbonization.

The report adds that floating offshore wind will reach full commercialization by 2030, with at least 6 GW installed globally.

Europe dominates the sector, with 75% of total global installations at the end of 2019, and aims for an ambitious 450 GW by 2050 driven by installations in the U.K., Netherlands, France, Germany, Denmark, Poland while other EU markets are posting double-digit volumes.

Top 5 Markets for Cumulative Offshore Wind Installations 2019

Towards the end of 2019, North America had 30 MW of offshore wind capacity in operation; the continent is likely to install 23 GW by 2030.

China dominates the sector for new installations for the second year in a row, installing a record 2.4 GW; U.K. comes second at 1.8 GW and Germany third at 1.1 GW. While Europe leads offshore wind, Asia-Pacific nations like Taiwan, Vietnam, Japan, South Korea, and the U.S. markets will quickly pick up the pace and become market leaders in the next decade.

Top 5 Markets Forecasted for Cumulative Offshore Wind Installations by 2030

China is expected to install 52 GW of new offshore wind capacity by 2030, while Taiwan will become the second-largest offshore wind market in Asia, with a goal of 5.5 GW by 2025 and an additional 10 GW by 2035. Vietnam, Japan, and South Korea are expected to install 5.2 GW, 7.2 GW, and 12 GW of offshore wind capacity, respectively.

Top 5 Markets for New Offshore Wind Installations in 2019

Ben Backwell, CEO at GWEC, said, “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. 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 previous report published by GWEC expressed its apprehensions on India meeting its offshore and onshore wind energy targets by 2022. Also, in another report, it had analyzed the factors that led to a dip in the growth of India’s wind sector in the past two years.

In India, wind power installations reached 2.07 GW in the financial year 2019-20, a 31% increase compared to 1.58 GW in the FY 2018-19. Installations were up about 117% in the third quarter of 2020 (Q3 2020), with about 295 MW of installations compared to the previous quarter’s 136 MW, according to data from the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy. Installations were lower by about 48% lower compared to the same quarter last year, which saw nearly 562 MW of wind installations, the data showed. Cumulative wind installations in the country now stand at 38.1 GW, as of September 30, 2020, representing a marginal 0.8% increase. At the end of the previous quarter, cumulative installations stood at 37.8 GW.