A new report from the Energy Industries Council (EIC) in the UK says there is “little doubt that the immense growth trajectory for offshore wind will continue.” The report, Energy Insight Report: Global Offshore Wind, says forecasts for operational capacity by 2030 vary between approximately 164 GW and 200 GW
It also highlighted that the rise and gradual commercialisation of floating offshore wind technology will only add to this trend.
This fast pace of growth is not without its challenges, however. “As more projects are added to the pipeline, concerns have been raised on the supply chain’s ability to meet global demand, particularly for vessels, skilled labour and fabrication shipyards,” said the EIC.
“But an increased awareness of the risks and effects of climate change is likely to lead to a greater focus on decarbonisation efforts in the supply chain and in the means of component production.
“The next few years could see important discussions on future supply chain engagement, effective project execution and whether the existing frameworks for offshore wind remain fit for purpose.”
The report noted that the offshore wind sector’s global expansion trend continued in 2019, bringing overall operational capacity to over 28 GW.
Key markets such as the UK, China, Germany, the Netherlands and Taiwan further strengthened their positions as project pipelines were expanded and ongoing developments progressed.
2019 also saw the emergence of cross-sector and sector coupling discussions, particularly around decarbonisation of offshore oil and gas platforms and the production of ‘green’ hydrogen via electrolysis using offshore wind.
“The sector is expected to see strong growth, not only in existing ‘mature’ markets, but equally in emerging ones,” the EIC said. “Examples of countries that have gained significant interest from developers and the supply chain alike in 2019 are Poland, Japan, Vietnam and Ireland.
“The launch of project activities in France also gained attention, particularly after the French Government decided to increase its installation targets and announced a 1 GW annual build-out ambition for the second part of this decade.”