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Global offshore wind capacity to grow sixfold to 115 GW by 2030: BNEF

Global offshore wind capacity will grow sixfold to 115 GW by 2030 from a current base of almost 18 GW, according to the latest forecast by Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

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* China to overtake UK and lead installations by 2022

* BNEF forecast global offshore capacity at 71 GW by 2025

The market was forecast to grow at a 16% compound annual growth rate from 2018-30, slightly lower than the 19% CAGR that BNEF forecast a year ago for the 2017-25 period when capacity was forecast to reach 71 GW and still be concentrated around Europe's North Sea region.

However, China will emerge as the new driving force, with BNEF predicting it will overtake the UK by 2022 to lead growth with the US, Taiwan, the Netherlands and France also expected to become major markets in addition to offshore pioneers like the UK, Germany and Denmark.

According to wind lobby group WindEurope, the offshore industry has been on a steep cost reduction curve and has met its target of Eur100/MWh ($119/MWh) by 2020 ahead of time, mainly due to rising turbine sizes.

In favorable locations across Northwest Europe, offshore wind costs could drop to Eur54/MWh based on turbine sizes rising to 13-15 MW, WindEurope said in a report last year.

BNEF said it expected annual installations to peak in 2027, adding that the expiry of offshore wind subsidies will result in a slowdown from 2028.

Some stand-out projects planned for the 2020s already forego direct subsidies amid strong competition in recent offshore wind tenders in Germany and the Netherlands.

--Andreas Franke,
--Edited by Dan Lalor,