The 5,194MW added last year brought global cumulative offshore wind capacity to 27,213MW — a 23% increase from the capacity online at the end of 2018, it stated in its report for 2019.
In total, 16 new wind farms — defined as having two or more turbines — in China, the UK, Germany, Denmark, Belgium and Taiwan entered operation last year with a further qualifying criteria of "all turbines of a wind farm being installed and first electricity being generated”.
Global offshore wind capacity in operation — all turbines of wind farm installed and first electricity being generated — at the end of 2019, by country (source: WFO)
The UK is still the market leader with 9,710MW of operational capacity under this definition, ahead of Germany (7,498MW), China (4,906MW), Denmark (1,738MW) and Belgium (1,557MW).
But the WFO expects China to become the world’s largest offshore wind market during the 2020s.
Global offshore wind capacity under construction — first offshore wind foundation installed — at the end of 2019, by country (source: WFO)
There are currently 23 wind farms with a combined capacity of 6,989MW under construction with at least one foundation installed.
China (3,662MW) leads the way, ahead of the Netherlands (1,484MW), the UK (714MW) and Denmark (605MW). Construction of offshore wind farms is also underway in Germany, Belgium, South Korea, and Portugal.
The WFO noted disruption in the German offshore wind market — caused by regulatory framework changes — means the country’s capacity currently under construction is only 220MW.
"While the last decade was its demonstration phase, the 2020s will bring the commercial breakthrough for floating offshore wind," WFO managing director Gunnar Herzig said.