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Global offshore wind capacity to reach 330GW by 2030, report says

Out-Law News | 07 Jun 2022 | 11:30 am | 1 min. read

Global offshore wind capacity will reach 330 gigawatts (GW) by 2030 up from 34GW in 2020, according to a new report.

The research, by Wood Mackenzie, found that 24 countries are expected to have large scale offshore wind farms by 2030, up from the existing nine countries. The report also forecasts that global cumulative investment in the sector will hit US$1 trillion by 2030, with over US$100 billion in capital spending to be deployed annually.

Renewables expert John Yeap of Pinsent Masons said: “Given that offshore wind is one of very few limited options for large non carbon intensive power generation, the advancement of this sector within a global net zero ambition can be expected.”

However, investors will no longer only compete on pricing. Besides competitive cost, there are four other factors “will determine who wins and who loses” in the sector, the report said. They are local content, systems integration, ecological mitigation and sustainability.

“As the report notes, there are several other factors that will be critical to the success of the sector. Local content has been and will continue to be a driver for the sector. Integrating electrolysis to produce green hydrogen is the current holy grail for sustainable development. Ecological considerations will also continue to guide the development of such large and potentially ecologically damaging developments. Measuring the success of the offshore wind sector over the coming decades will undoubtedly have reference to these considerations,” Yeap said.

The report estimates that almost 80% of capacity connected during 2021 to 2031 will be influenced by local content policies, requiring the use of the domestic supply chains and labour. The focus on local content has been particularly strong in new offshore wind markets in Asia.

Systems integration refers to combining offshore wind projects with other technologies and capabilities to decarbonise economies and generate additional value from the projects. It can include technologies such as “pairing offshore wind with electrolysers to produce hydrogen, energy storage, interconnections to multiple regions, providing ancillary services and floating solar projects”.

The report says that system integration will be most important in markets which have high share of renewable resources, an increasing challenge to provide reliable supply, and governments are committed to net zero emissions goals to support green hydrogen.

Ecological mitigation refers to maximising the use of the sea while minimising the environmental impact. As for the sustainability factor, reducing the lifecycle emissions of offshore wind projects and the recyclability of the projects will be considered.