Green hydrogen boom will drive offshore wind in Latin America to 34GW by 2050

With Brazil and Colombia leading the charge, Latin America will see a sharp increase in offshore wind projects, with capacity reaching 34GW by 2050, according to analysis from Wood Mackenzie.

Offshore wind farms with green hydrogen production are under construction in Europe, including Hollandse Kust Noord in the Dutch North Sea (pic credit: Crosswind)
Offshore wind farms with green hydrogen production are under construction in Europe, including Hollandse Kust Noord in the Dutch North Sea (pic credit: Crosswind)

Driven by growth in off-grid green hydrogen projects, offshore wind activity will correspond to a 15.4% compound annual growth rate starting from 2032, when the first projects are expected to come online in the region, the report says.

Offshore wind growth forecast for Latin America (pic credit: Wood Mackenzie)

The boom in offshore wind relies on acceleration of regulation and investment. Current challenges facing developers, Wood Machenzie points out, include limited energy demand, transmission infrastructure constraints, competition from other sources, project bankability and supply chain issues.

“We have seen significant regulatory movement in support of offshore wind developments, with Brazil and Colombia providing official roadmaps and guidelines for future activity,” said Kárys Prado, power and renewables research analyst at Wood Mackenzie.

“Both countries have an increasing number of planned projects, and this year’s announced pipeline growth in Latin America already represents a 34% share of global new project announcements, as of Q3 2022.”

The firm forecasts that Brazil will capture close to 6% of the world’s total green hydrogen supply to 2050, with the market gaining scale after 2030. Only 20% of the green hydrogen installations in the country will be grid-connected, with the majority being off-grid projects partly supported by offshore wind, alongside other renewables.

“There is still much work to be done on the regulatory front and many challenges remain to make this a reality,” Prado said. “Despite all these challenges, there is an opportunity for the industry to take off. If regulation and infrastructure investments accelerate, combined with the fledgling green hydrogen industry, future offshore wind capacity could exceed expectations in the region.”

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