Global floating offshore wind pipeline 'surges' – RenewableUK

The total pipeline of floating offshore wind projects more than doubled in capacity to 185GW in the last 12 months, according to a new report – but it expects less than a quarter of this pipeline to be commissioned this decade.

Only a tiny portion – just 121MW, or 0.06% – of the total 185GW pipeline is currently operational (pic credit: Grupo Cobra)

And only a tiny portion – just 121MW, or 0.06% – of the total pipeline is currently operational, according to the analysis by RenewableUK.

In total, the industry body identified a 185GW floating offshore wind pipeline, including projects at any stage of development: under construction, permitting approved, in the planning system or at an otherwise early stage of development.

This includes 96MW of capacity under construction, 288MW that is permitted or in the pre-construction phase, 31GW that is awaiting permitting or has a lease agreement in place, while 153GW is in an early stage of development, including awaiting a seabed lease.

This 185GW pipeline also marks a large increase from the 91GW identified one year ago.

The UK has the largest floating wind portfolio with 33.2GW, ahead of Sweden (21GW) and Ireland (19GW). Outside of Europe, the US (17.2GW), South Korea (15.9GW) and Australia (13.8GW) are the top markets. Meanwhile, Italy (13.3GW), Finland (10.8GW) and Taiwan (7.5GW) also have large pipelines of projects.

RenewableUK believes 41GW could be fully commissioned by 2030 –most of it (31GW) in Europe.

Its CEO Dan McGrail said: “The growth of floating offshore wind is surging ahead at a phenomenal rate year on year around the world.

“In the years ahead, as we build projects further out to sea where wind speeds are even stronger, floating wind will play a central role in providing cheap, clean electricity for British homes as well as boosting our energy security.”