Despite headwinds, offshore wind will see ‘massive’ growth to 2032 – report

In a sign of things to come, the global offshore wind industry brought 8.8 GW of clean energy online in 2022, its second-best year ever, according to the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC).

The GWEC, the international trade association for the wind power industry, reports that a total of 64.3 GW of global offshore wind capacity across three continents and 19 countries was in operation by the end of 2022, accounting for 7.1% of global wind power installation.

The GWEC’s Global Offshore Wind Report 2023, released today, reports that China is expected to remain the world’s leading market for offshore wind growth in 2023. In 2022, China continued to lead global offshore wind development, although its new installations dropped to 5 GW from 21 GW in 2021, a record year driven by the end of the feed-in tariff (FiT).

However, while increasing its forecast for the Asia-Pacific region, GWEC has downgraded its near-term offshore wind growth forecast for Europe and North America by 17% due to delays caused by permitting and other regulatory issues. Supply chain bottlenecks are also a risk for every region except China.

GWEC also forecasts that “a massive 380 GW of new offshore wind will be built by 2032 – nearly half of which will come from the Asia-Pacific region, followed by Europe (41%), North America (9%), and Latin America (1%).” That would bring the total offshore wind capacity to 447 GW by the end of 2032.

It notes that only one-third of this projected new volume will be added in 2023-27 due to challenging market conditions and that further investment and global cooperation are needed to tackle the bottlenecks.

GWEC CEO Ben Backwell said:

The offshore wind sector has delivered another year of impressive growth to reinforce last year’s record numbers. This report outlines that the potential is there for record growth every year from now on. This would deliver a transformed, clean, secure energy system – particularly in the Asia-Pacific region. 

However, governments and industry across the world will need to work together if this potential is to be realized, while trade and industrial policies will need to focus on partnership and collaboration to deliver investment and growth.

Governments and industry will need to face head-on the challenges the sector faces around supply chain, permitting and policy in order to build future-proof markets.

Read more: The US approves Revolution Wind, its fourth major offshore wind farm

Photo: Orsted

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