Offshore wind is poised for truly global growth, says new report

In 2023, despite the macroeconomic challenges faced by the sector in some key markets, the wind industry installed 10.8 GW of new offshore wind capacity, taking the global total to 75.2 GW.

Offshore wind is poised for truly global growth, says new report

New capacity increased 24% on the previous year, a growth rate the Global Wind Energy Council expects to see continue up to 2030, if the present increase in policy momentum continues. 

In the next ten years, GWEC forecasts that 410 GW of new offshore wind capacity will be installed, bringing offshore wind deployment in line with global targets to install 380 GW by 2030. The majority of that will come at the turn of the decade, with two-thirds installed between 2029 and 2033. This rapid expansion of deployment must be built on a growing collaboration between industry and government and the creation of streamlined and effective policy and regulatory frameworks. 

This anticipated growth will be driven by the arrival of the next wave of offshore wind markets like Australia, Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, Vietnam, Brazil, Colombia , Ireland and Poland – where policy developments and unprecedented focus across governments, industry and civil society is setting the conditions for long-term offshore wind development at scale.

The new report outlines a “Global Growth Framework for Offshore Wind” for industry and governments planning to rapidly scale up development covering finance, demand and industrial offtake, supply chain development, permitting, social consensus, workforce development and grid infrastructure. GWEC’s position is that forecasted growth is at risk if this framework is not implemented.

Ben Backwell, CEO, Global Wind Energy Council, said:

“Installing almost 11 GW of offshore wind is the leading edge of a new wave of offshore wind growth. Policy progress – especially across the Asia-Pacific region and the Americas – has set us on course to regularly install record-breaking capacity annually, and pass the 380 GW target set up by the Global Offshore Wind Alliance. That means offshore wind is on course to achieve the tripling ambition set at COP28 in Dubai.

“Offshore wind is now so much more than a  European, Chinese or American story. In the last year GWEC has seen rapid progress in new markets where the key drivers for offshore wind are now in place – from government commitments to sustainable economic growth, to increased consumer demand and industrial decarbonisation."

Rebecca Williams, Chief Strategy Officer – Offshore Wind, GWEC, said:

“Governments around the world are choosing offshore wind for their people and their economies. We have reached the point in mature markets where the technology is now proven to have the ability to  save households money versus conventional energy sources. 

“This new wave of offshore wind markets are taking notice and making progress of their own, in some cases outgrowing the ‘emerging’ label thanks to strong collaboration between industry and policymakers. It is vital to continue that cooperation, particularly in this year of significant elections around the world, to ensure targets become turbines and more markets develop in the wake of this decade’s expansion.”

Steven B. Hedlund, President and Chief Executive Officer, Lincoln Electric, said:

“The future ambitions of the offshore wind industry depends on an expanding supply chain where advanced technology and automation are going to help drive further expansion.”

José Oriol Hoyos, Chairman and CEO of Iberdrola Renewables International, said:

“This year is a major milestone and memorable moment in our journey towards a cleaner and sustainable future in which offshore plays a leading role. I encourage the whole industry to apply the same courage demonstrated to overcoming challenges in the past so next year we can proudly say that another record has been set and we are a step closer to meeting our ambitions.” 

Qiying Zhang, President and CTO of Mingyang Smart Energy, said:

”The utilisation of marine energy, especially offshore wind power, plays a vital role to achieve the global energy transition whilst combating climate change and its impacts. We believe that through technological innovation, industrialization and global cooperation our industry can further reduce the cost of energy and ultimately help achieve large-scale offshore wind power deployment.”