The offshore wind industry will drive the creation of 8M jobs globally, attract US$1.3Bn of cumulative investment and see the build out of more than 400-GW of electricity-generating capacity by 2040
That is according to a new report from Rethink Energy entitled Offshore wind to drive 8m jobs, is key to decarbonization.
By 2030, Rethink Energy predicts global offshore wind capacity will have risen from 25 GW today to 164 GW, before kicking on again as floating wind turbines emerge as a separate, additional market during the 2030s.
This will drive annual offshore wind installations towards 30 GW a year, leaving the world with 418 GW of wind energy by 2040, providing almost 5% of global electricity.
“While currently led by Europe, the Asia Pacific region including China, is set to become the largest market in the next 20 years, said Rethink Energy, with the US “lagging behind” due to its “conflicting politics,” as well as its lack of maritime and transmission readiness.
China will overtake the UK as the world leader in terms of installed capacity in 2026, said Rethink Energy, when it will be responsible for more than half of the offshore wind capacity in the Asia Pacific region and nearly a quarter globally.
“The wind power industry will shift its focus offshore in many regions,” said the company, but it believes offshore wind expansion in some countries, including South Korea and the US, will be held back by a dearth of maritime resources, especially seaworthy installation and maintenance vessels. “This will particularly limit the US and early, ambitious build out targets of individual states are likely to be missed,” it claims.
“In the near-term, most regions of the world have over-promised on offshore wind. However, later in the 2020s there will be a second coming, as more and more floating wind turbines are added to the mix, driving a growth in offshore wind greater than many analysts expect,” Rethink said.
“This will be facilitated by the falling levelised cost of energy of floating wind through the 2020s, to a competitive level between 2028 and 2030.”
Rethink Energy said this cost reduction will be partially achieved through the continued consolidation of global turbine makers, and of floating platforms once floating wind enters the fray at scale.
It also anticipates that environmental issues will plague the emergence of what will become a massive industry and could “act like a lead weight” around its progress until more countries provide evidence of the benign effects of developing and operating offshore windfarms at scale.