Global offshore wind pipeline doubles

China and UK lead offshore market, with over 90GW planned in each country, says RenewableUK

China leads the way with the deployment of offshore wind, according to the report (pic credit: MingYang)
China leads the way with the deployment of offshore wind, according to the report (pic credit: MingYang)

The global pipeline of offshore wind projects – operational, under construction, consented or planned – has almost doubled over the last year, from 429GW a year ago to 846GW today, according to the latest data from RenewableUK.

Europe accounts for 350GW of the current pipeline, with 26GW fully operational, while the remaining 496GW is outside Europe.

Pipeline

In terms of individual countries, the industry association's latest EnergyPulse Global Offshore Wind Special Report suggests China is out front with a pipeline of 98GW, while the UK is a close second with 91GW - up from 55GW a year ago.

The US in third place with 80GW, while Germany and Brazil round out the top five, with 57GW and 52GW respectively. Sweden, Ireland, Vietnam and South Korea also have significant pipelines, the report added.

The findings differ to those published earlier this month by researchers at the Renewables Consulting Group (RCG), which reported that Brazil leads the market with an offshore wind pipeline of 97.4GW - all in development. For cumulative pipelines of operational, secured and under-development capacity, RCG put the UK second (83.5GW), followed by Vietnam (66.5GW), then China (63.1GW) and Taiwan (51.6GW).

For operational capacity, RenewableUK's report said that China, again, leads with 24.5GW, followed by the UK (10.5GW), Germany (7.7GW), The Netherlands (3GW) and Denmark (2.3GW).

Floating

The UK also leads the floating wind market, it said, with project pipeline of 32GW. Sweden is second at 25GW, followed by Taiwan (21GW), Ireland (16GW) and South Korea (16GW). Australia, Italy, the USA and Finland also have significant floating wind pipelines, the report says.

The UK also has the biggest operational floating capacity at 80MW, with two floating wind farms generating in Scottish waters. More are planned as part of ScotWind and in the Celtic Sea.

Portugal is second with 25MW and Norway and China share third at 6MW each. Equinor’s Norwegian 88MW Hywind Tampen project is due to be operational later this year.

“The global growth of offshore wind over the last year is nothing short of staggering," said Dan McGrail, chief executive of RenewableUK. "Our EnergyPulse report shows this technology is now a truly global industry, not just in Europe and Asia, but also with major projects underway in North and South America and Australia."

He added: “It’s great to see that the UK has the biggest global pipeline of floating projects, as this will prove to be a gamechanger in reaching net zero faster, as well as creating opportunities for us to export innovative British technology all over the world, building up new supply chains”.

McGrail said countries around the world now "recognise the urgent need to ramp up the transition to clean power" - not only to tackle climate change, but also "to provide secure supplies of low-cost homegrown electricity for people hit hard by international gas prices going through the roof".

In April, for example, 25 parties - including six European governments - agreed to work together to fast-track the deployment of offshore wind in European waters.

'Move faster'

Despite this, McGrail called on governments to do more. "We can move faster, if governments play their part by speeding up sluggish consenting processes and ensuring new grid infrastructure is built when and where it’s needed. We’re working closely with Ministers on this, and many other counties are following our lead," he said.

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