The global offshore wind industry installed a record 6.1 gigawatts (GW) of new capacity in 2019, bringing total capacity to 29 GW, according to the latest data released by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) on Thursday.
This amount shows an impressive 35.5% increase on the previous year, which saw 4.5 GW installed, the GWEC said.
"This growth is set to accelerate, with GWEC Market Intelligence’s preliminary forecasts finding that an additional 50 GW of new offshore wind capacity could be installed by 2024 globally," the statement read.
This increase would mean that total installed offshore wind capacity could reach nearly 80 GW globally over the next five years, an increase of almost 172% from today’s capacity.
The increase came from eight markets who reported new offshore wind installations in 2019, including China with 2,395 megawatts (MW), the U.K. with 1,764 MW, Germany with 1,111 MW, Denmark with 374 MW, Belgium with 370 MW, Taiwan with 120 MW, Portugal with 8 MW (floating) and Japan with 3 MW (floating).
- China leads the way
“In 2019, we continued to see the strong growth trend of offshore wind, which now makes up 10% of total wind energy installations," Ben Backwell, CEO at GWEC, was quoted as saying.
He noted that while mature markets in Europe continue to account for the majority of these installations, the Asia Pacific region is now increasingly contributing to this growth, with China leading the way as the global offshore wind leader in new capacity.
He expressed his expectation that once the technology reaches an industrial scale, it will open up whole new markets and opportunities for offshore wind.
“Offshore wind is a huge opportunity to meet our climate targets, as it can replace expensive imported fuels, provide clean energy solutions to countries that have limited land availability, and supply increasingly competitive zero-carbon energy at a massive scale," Backwell stressed.
Alastair Dutton, chair of GWEC’s Global Offshore Wind Task Force also said that the 2019 offshore wind installations were driven by established market leaders but over the next few years the offshore industry will expand into new markets in Europe, the U.S. and the Asia Pacific.
"We need to focus now on getting the right policy frameworks set up in these emerging markets to facilitate this growth and pave the way for a wider global build-out of capacity post-2030,” Dutton noted.
By Ebru Sengul Cevrioglu