In its press-release to the Global Offshore Wind Report 2021, the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) looks at the growth of the global offshore wind industry in 2020, presenting a forecast of the latest technology trends and innovations, and discussing the challenges and opportunities for offshore wind market growth toward meeting global climate goals.
In 2020, the offshore wind market volume reached 6.1 GW, which is slightly lower than the record 6.24 GW in 2019. Thus, this is the second best year in history, which is not a bad result considering the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. For the third year in a row, China ranked first in the world for the number of new installations: more than 3 GW of offshore wind grid was connected in 2020, just over 50% of all new installations in the world. Most of the remaining new capacity comes from Europe led by the Netherlands (24.6%), followed by Belgium (11.6%), the United Kingdom (8%), and Germany (3.9%). Other less significant, but still worth mentioning actors in the market are South Korea (1%), Portugal (0.3%) and the United States (0.2%).
35 GW of offshore wind capacity is now installed worldwide. Although this is only 0.5% of the world's installed electricity capacity, it is the equivalent of taking 20 million cars off the road, avoiding 62.5 million tons of CO2 emissions for the world. In addition, the offshore industry provides 700,000 jobs around the planet. Despite China's success in recent years, the UK still ranks first in the world in terms of total offshore installations accounting for 28.9%, followed by China (28.3%), Germany (21.9%), Netherlands (7.4%), Belgium (6.4%) and Denmark (4.8%). These five countries together account for nearly 98% of all offshore installations, with the remaining 2% split between Sweden, South Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam.
The report predicts that 2021 will be a new record year as China plans to install 7.5 GW of new capacity. In addition, GWEC expects that 235 GW of new offshore wind power capacity will be installed over the next decade under current policies. Although that capacity is seven times bigger than the current market size and industry is going to break new records in the next years, “we need governments to commit to more ambitious targets and have long-term, clear policies to support this unprecedented growth for both fixed-bottom and floating offshore wind”, said Rebecca Williams, Director of COP26, GWEC.
Earlier this year, the GWEC also released its annual report on global wind energy, which includes both offshore and onshore sectors, the main findings of which you can read here.