Thursday, 09 September 2021
According to the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), windfarm installations are expected to double this year following the COVID-19 slowdown that had initially curtailed wind project development across the globe.
The annual report by GWEC found that the world's offshore windfarm capacity grew by 6.1 GW last year, down slightly from a record 6.24 GW in 2019, but would rebound to more than 12 GW in 2021 powered by an offshore wind boom in China.
For the third year in a row, China has led the world in new installations with more than 3 GW of offshore wind grid-connected in 2020 and the country remains on track to surpass the UK as the world's biggest offshore wind market by the end of 2030.
The GWEC has forecast a record year for offshore wind growth in 2021 as China’s wind industry rushes to install 7.5 GW of capacity before the expiry of government subsidies at the end of this year.
Industry’s growth is also expected to be boosted by record financing, after the $8bn investment in the world’s biggest offshore wind farm off the Yorkshire coast in the UK.
The Dogger Bank offshore wind farm, which will be built by SSE and Norwegian energy giant Equinor, will use the largest turbines in the world to generate enough renewable electricity to power 4.5m UK homes.
Ben Backwell, the chief executive of GWEC said the offshore wind industry has continued “to break records, reduce prices, and innovate to new heights and depths” while generating socio-economic benefits.
Backwell further added, “But as the G20 recognised at its most recent summit, we are in a climate emergency and we can no longer be content with simply breaking records – the scale of growth we need to achieve for the future of our planet goes beyond anything we have seen before."
The GWEC expects the offshore wind industry to deliver 235 GW of new capacity over the next decade under current government policies, more than seven times the existing global offshore wind capacity, but warned that the pace of growth will need to accelerate to meet global climate targets.
According to an analysis by the International Energy Agency and the International Renewable Energy Agency, the world may need up to 2 000 GW of offshore wind by 2050 to have a chance of keeping global temperatures from rising above 1.5 C compared to pre-industrial levels, crucial to avoid the catastrophic effects of global warming.