Global pipeline of offshore wind projects soars by nearly 50% this year

New research published today by RenewableUK shows that the total pipeline of global offshore wind projects has grown by 47% since January – despite the pandemic.

RenewableUK’s latest Offshore Wind Project Intelligence report reveals that the total capacity of offshore wind projects worldwide which are operational, under construction, consented, in planning or in development currently stands at 197.4 gigawatts (GW), up from 134.7GW in mid-January. Just over half of the pipeline (50.5%) is in Europe (99.6GW).

The UK retains its top spot with a total pipeline of 41.3GW, up 12% since January when it stood at 36.9GW. China has leapt from fourth place into second with a significant 80% increase from 14.5GW to 26.1GW. The USA retains third place with 10% growth (from 16.2GW to 17.8GW). Brazil has emerged from nowhere to go straight into fourth place with 16.3GW – its ten offshore wind projects have all been announced since the start of the year. Taiwan stays at number five with a 65% increase from 9.2GW to 15.2GW. 

Germany has dropped from second to sixth place due to a 29% decrease in its pipeline from 16.5GW in January to 11.7GW in October. The Netherland is in seventh position with a 58% increase from 7.2GW to 11.4GW. In eighth place, Ireland’s pipeline expanded by 44% from 6.3GW to 9.1GW. Poland is in ninth position with 72% growth this year from 5.3GW to 9.1GW. Vietnam was outside the top ten at the start of the year but is now in tenth place with 8.6GW, reflecting the growing importance of the offshore wind market in East Asia.   

RenewableUK’s Deputy Chief Executive Melanie Onn said “The global appetite to develop new offshore wind projects remains enormous, despite the pandemic this year, as this research proves. The UK and many other countries are counting on the rapid growth of the offshore wind sector to be a key driver in the worldwide green economic recovery. 

“The UK remains the biggest market for offshore wind in the world and our capacity is set to quadruple over the course of this decade following the Prime Minister’s landmark commitment to power every UK home with offshore wind by 2030. 

“As well as providing clean, low-cost power, our industry will continue to revitalise coastal communities, grow the UK supply chain and export our offshore wind goods and services around the world, as our unrivalled expertise is now in huge demand globally”. 

In terms of operational capacity, the UK still has the most in the world (10.4GW), Germany is in second place with 7.7GW, China is third (4.6GW), Belgium fourth (1.8GW) and Denmark fifth with 1.7GW.

The Project Intelligence report is available to RenewableUK’s member companies and is being published on the first day of Global Offshore Wind 2020, which takes place online from Wednesday 28th to Friday 30th October. 

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Renewable Energy World's content team members help deliver the most comprehensive news coverage of the renewable energy industries. Based in the U.S., the UK, and South Africa, the team is comprised of editors from Clarion Energy's myriad of publications that cover the global energy industry.

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