2020 has been an excellent year for the fast-growing offshore wind energy industry, 2021 is expected to be better still, and the Covid-19 pandemic is unlikely to seriously affect the rate of growth of global offshore wind capacity in the next few years.
Addressing delegates at the Reuters Events: Offshore & Floating Wind conference, Bloomberg NEF (BNEF) head of offshore wind research Tom Harries told the conference that, in the coming decade, offshore wind would be a US$320Bn market opportunity.
Mr Harries described analyses of the potential effects on market growth of the Covid-19 pandemic and three different scenarios: the first a ‘single wave’ scenario, and the second and third ‘multi-wave’ and ‘enduring pandemic’ scenarios, respectively.
Mr Harries said BNEF’s analysis indicated that in a single wave scenario, global offshore wind capacity would reach a cumulative 193 GW by 2020.
In a multi-wave Covid-19 scenario, cumulative global growth in global offshore wind capacity would be only marginally lower, at 192 GW.
If the Covid-19 pandemic endures, cumulative capacity would only be affected a little more seriously, and might reach a level of 186 GW.
Mr Harries said the decade would see the offshore wind energy market continue to go global with a significant increase in mid-decade in capacity in the Asia Pacific region and in China.
In the 2024-25 timeframe, the Asia Pacific region will be a primary driver of growth, in addition to established markets in Europe, he said. But later in the decade, longer-established markets such as those in Europe would play a leading role, as will the US.
Exactly how much growth takes place in each of the global markets for offshore wind will depend on supply chain developments and on financing, Mr Harries suggested.