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Global offshore wind capacity forecast to expand to 190 GW by 2030: wind-energy group

Highlights

Global Wind Energy Council puts current offshore capacity at 23 GW

Says US 'potential' is 10 GW by 2030

Houston — Global offshore wind installations, now estimated at a capacity of 23 GW, is forecast to expand to 190 GW in 2030 under a business-as-usual scenario, the Global Wind Energy Council said in a report released Wednesday.

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More than 4 GW of new offshore capacity was installed each year in 2017 and 2018, the report said, making up 8% of the total new wind-power installations during both years.

"For the first time, China was the largest offshore market in 2018 based on new installations, followed by the UK and Germany," the report said.

"We are standing within reach of a truly global offshore wind industry. Based on government targets, auction results, and pipeline data, we expect to see 190 GW of new capacity to be installed by 2030, but this does not represent the full potential of offshore wind," said Karin Ohlenforst, director of market intelligence at GWEC.

"Many new countries are preparing to join the offshore wind revolution, while floating offshore wind represents a game-changing technological development that can add even more volumes in the years to come," Ohlenforst said.

Alastair Dutton, the chairman of GWEC's global offshore wind task force, said that offshore wind is improving its cost-competitiveness with an average levelized cost of energy of $50/MWh now "within reach."

"This achievement increases the attractiveness of offshore wind in mature markets where a number of governments are discussing long-term climate targets," he said.

Dutton said that if the offshore wind industry and governments can work together, "as we have seen recently in the case of Taiwan, we can build the necessary policy frameworks at greater speed to ensure growth can be achieved sooner than later."

TWO SCENARIOS

GWEC said it used a "business-as-usual " scenario to arrive at its 190 GW by 2030 forecast. The report's authors said that the BAU scenario does not incorporate "further technical developments" for offshore wind.

"The BAU scenario expects double-digit growth for the global offshore market based on current policies and expected auctions and tenders," the report said. "This scenario makes annual installations of 15 GW to 20 GW after 2025 realistic based on growth in China and other Asian markets."

An "upside scenario," which the report said captured additional potential such as the advancement of floating technology, increased cost competitiveness and therefore greater volume in mature markets, as well as the opening up of new offshore markets.

"Based on this scenario, a more positive outlook of over 200 GW new installed capacity between now and 2030 is possible, totaling approximately 210 GW installed capacity."

LOOKING AT REGIONAL MARKETS

GWEC said that, in the short-term, the European offshore market will "remain flat with few projects reaching installation and COD during 2020."

However, it said that the cost competitiveness of European offshore will remain a key driver for volume. "The Sector Deal in the UK provides a stable outlook, while volumes for Germany have still not increased despite government's awareness."

Total installed capacity for the European region under the BAU scenario is expected to be 78 GW by 2030, the report said.

The Asian offshore market, including China, is expected to become the largest offshore region globally with key growth markets including Taiwan, Vietnam, Japan, India and South Korea. The report said the total installed capacity for the region under the BAU scenario is 100 GW by 2030.

The report said that the US' first installation of large-scale offshore projects are expected between 2021 and 2023 bringing total installations to 2 GW by 2025. It said that there is the "potential for 10 GW of total installations towards 2030, with increasing experience and maturing of the local supply chain."

This compares to a forecast of 18.6 GW of offshore wind off the coast of seven Atlantic Seaboard states by 2030 that the University of Delaware forecast in its "Supply Chain Contracting Forecast for US Offshore Wind Power" whitepaper released in March.

-- Jeffrey Ryser, jeffrey.ryser@spglobal.com

-- Edited by Derek Sands, newsdesk@spglobal.com