‘Staggering’ boom in offshore wind farms as projected capacity doubles in a year

China driving explosion in global wind energy as UK leads on floating offshore turbines

Harry Cockburn
Environment Correspondent
Wednesday 22 June 2022 14:36
Comments
<p>An offshore windfarm photographed from an aeroplane flying over the English Channel</p>

An offshore windfarm photographed from an aeroplane flying over the English Channel

The boom in offshore wind projects over the past 12 months has been "nothing short of staggering", according to analysts who have said planned developments put global capacity on track to double what was in the pipeline a year ago.

This time last year, the capacity of offshore wind projects at every stage of development – operational, under construction, consented or planned – stood at 429 gigawatts (GW).

That has now risen to 846GW in the developmental pipeline today, with surging Chinese investment driving the biggest rises in planned capacity.

According to Renewable UK which carried out the analysis, China has the biggest offshore wind project pipeline at 98GW, the UK is in second place at 91GW, up from 55GW a year ago, and the USA is third with 80GW.

Germany is fourth at 57GW. Other countries with major offshore wind projects in the offing include Brazil, Sweden, Ireland, Vietnam and South Korea.

Europe’s total planned capacity now stands at 350GW, with 26GW operational, and the project pipeline in countries outside Europe will deliver a capacity of 496GW.

In terms of existing offshore wind power, China leads the world with a total maximum capacity of 24.5GW, the UK is second at 10.5GW, Germany third with 7.7GW, The Netherlands fourth at 3GW and Denmark fifth with 2.3GW.

The analysis also examines trends in types of offshore wind power, with the UK now leading the way on floating wind installations, as opposed to turbines fixed to the seabed.

The UK is set to grow its floating offshore capacity from 80 megawatts, with two floating wind farms generating in Scottish waters, to 32GW, with more projects in Scotland and in the Celtic Sea.

Renewable UK said Portugal’s pipeline of floating wind projects was the second largest in the world at 25MW and Norway and China were joint-third at 6MW each.

RenewableUK’s chief executive Dan McGrail said: “The global growth of offshore wind over the last year is nothing short of staggering. Our EnergyPulse report shows that this technology is now a truly global industry, not just in Europe and Asia, but also with major projects underway in North and South American and Australia.

“Countries around the world recognise the urgent need to ramp up the transition to clean power - not only to tackle climate change, but also to provide secure supplies of low-cost homegrown electricity for people hit hard by international gas prices going through the roof. Add to that the benefits of creating millions of skilled jobs and attracting billions in private investment, and you can see why offshore wind is surging ahead globally."

He added: “It’s great to see that the UK has the biggest global pipeline of floating projects, as this will prove to be a gamechanger in reaching net zero faster, as well as creating opportunities for us to export innovative British technology all over the world, building up new supply chains”.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in