The global pipeline of offshore wind projects has almost doubled within a year from 429GW of potential new capacity to 846GW, according to an analysis today by RenewableUK.
The estimated pipeline encompasses offshore wind projects at every stage of development, including those newly operational, under construction, consented or in the planning stages, the UK trade body said.
Its figures show that while China boasts the largest pipeline of offshore wind projects at 98GW, the UK stands in close second, with up to 91GW of potential new capacity on the way.
RenewableUK CEO Dan McGrail described the one-year increase as “nothing short of staggering”, but said the pace could be sped up even further with the right policy support.
“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,” he said. “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.
“But we can move faster, if governments play their part by speeding up sluggish consenting processes and ensuring that new grid infrastructure is built when and where it’s needed. We’re working closely with Ministers on this, and many other counties are following our lead .”
The data also shows the USA has the third largest offshore pipeline with 80GW, while Germany is in fourth place with 57GW. Other countries with major pipelines include Brazil, Sweden, Ireland, Vietnam, and South Korea.
Overall, Europe boasts an offshore wind pipeline of 350GW, with 26GW fully operational, while the pipeline in countries outside Europe stands at 496GW.
The report also highlights the increasing global rollout of floating offshore wind projects, which allow the capture of stronger wind speeds further out at sea, as these turbines can ‘float’ on the water without the need to be built upon the seabed.
It reveals the UK currently has the biggest pipeline of floating offshore projects in the world at 32GW, with Sweden in second at 25GW, Taiwan third with 21GW, Ireland fourth at 16GW, and South Korea fifth at 16GW. Australia, Italy, the USA and Finland also have significant floating wind pipelines, the data shows.
The UK also has the biggest operational floating wind power capacity at 80MW, with two floating wind farms generating in Scottish waters. In addition, the UK has further floating wind capacity planned as part of ScotWind and in the Celtic Sea.
Equinor’s 88MW Hywind Tampen project is due to be operational in Norway later this year, however, and is therefore set to eclipse UK capacity.
Earlier this month, RenewableUK launched a new Floating Offshore Wind Task Force, bringing together industry leaders, senior government officials, and other key stakeholders to turn the UK into a “Floating Offshore Wind Superpower”. The task force is designed to help the UK “seize world leadership” in the innovative technologies that underpin floating wind farm developments.