The latest data released by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) shows that the global offshore wind industry added 6.1GW of offshore wind capacity in 2019, a record year for the industry and an impressive 35.5 percent increase on the previous year, which saw 4.5GW installed.

This growth is set to accelerate, with GWEC Market Intelligence’s preliminary forecasts finding that an additional 50 GW of new offshore wind capacity could be installed by 2024 globally. This would mean that total installed offshore wind capacity could reach nearly 80 GW globally over the next five years, an increase of almost 172 percent from today’s capacity.

Eight markets reported new offshore wind installations in 2019:
China – 2395 MW

United Kingdom – 1764 MW

Germany – 1111 MW

Denmark – 374 MW

Belgium – 370 MW

Taiwan – 120 MW

Portugal – 8 MW (floating)

Japan – 3 MW (floating)

Ben Backwell, CEO at GWEC commented: “In 2019, we continued to see the strong growth trend of offshore wind, which now makes up 10 per cent of total wind energy installations. While mature markets in Europe continue to account for the majority of these installations, Asia Pacific is now increasingly contributing to this growth, with China leading the way as the global offshore wind leader in new capacity. It is also exciting to see floating wind capacity being installed in 2019, as once this technology reaches industrial scale, it will open up whole new markets and opportunities for offshore wind”.

“Offshore wind is a huge opportunity to meet our climate targets, as it can replace expensive imported fuels, provide clean energy solutions to countries that have limited for land availability, and supply increasingly competitive zero-carbon energy at a massive scale. The economic benefits of offshore wind cannot be understated, with the potential to generate of hundreds of billions of dollars in investments, create tens of thousands of jobs and build a supply chain that can all contribute to thriving local economies”, he added.

Alastair Dutton, Chair of GWEC’s Global Offshore Wind Task Force said: “While 2019 offshore wind installations were driven by established market leaders, over the next few years we will see more and more countries establish their offshore industry, expanding into new markets in Europe, the US and Asia Pacific. As these new markets are established, this will further drive the exponential growth of the global offshore wind industry. We need to focus now on getting the right policy frameworks set up in these emerging markets to facilitate this growth and pave the way for a wider global build-out of capacity post-2030.”

Highlights of the Report:

  • The global offshore wind industry installed a record 6.1 GW of new capacity in 2019, bringing total capacity to 29 GW
  • Europe remained the largest market for offshore wind, accounting for 59 per cent of new installations in 2019, while the Asia-Pacific region accounted for the remaining 41 per cent.
  • China remains the overall leader in new installations for offshore wind, adding more than 2.3 GW capacity in 2019, with the UK and Germany in second and third place, installing 1.8 GW and 1.1 GW respectively.
  • Offshore wind accounted for approximately 10 per cent of new wind power installations in 2019, an increase from 5 per cent in 2015.
  • GWEC expects over 50GW of new offshore wind capacity to be installed from 2020-2024, as projects in emerging markets with ambitious targets for offshore wind such as the US, Taiwan, Japan, Vietnam and South Korea are realized.

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