Global offshore wind market grows 16% in 12 months

The growth of the global market for offshore wind is accelerating, with the combined capacity of projects in various stages of development increasing 16% in the last 12 months, according to new figures. This 16% annual growth rate is faster than the 10% rise in the previous 12-month period.

E.on, Macquarie and Enbridge's 400MW Rampion project off the south coast of the UK - the top global offshore market, according to RenewableUK
E.on, Macquarie and Enbridge's 400MW Rampion project off the south coast of the UK - the top global offshore market, according to RenewableUK

Offshore wind projects in operation, under construction or in development rose from just under 105GW to more than 121GW in the last year, trade group RenewableUK's figures showed.

The UK remains the largest single market, with 34.8GW of projects in operation or in the development pipeline.

RenewableUK's top five was completed by Germany (16.5GW), the United States (15.7GW), China (12GW) and Taiwan (8.9GW), with their combined totals accounting for 75% of capacity worldwide.

Germany retained its second place in RenewableUK’s rankings – published as its Global Offshore Wind 2019 event (25-26 June) kicks off in London - despite the cancellation of long-delayed projects.

Meanwhile, east coast states’ policies and development targets have boosted the US offshore sector, with its pipeline more than doubling to 15.7GW.

For example, Massachusetts recently doubled its procurement target to 3.2GW, while New Jersey is aiming for 3.5GW by 2030, RenewableUK noted.

The US – which rose from 7.5GW one year ago – leapfrogged China and Taiwan into third place, and accounted for nearly half (48%) of global growth in the last 12 months.

Despite the change in the order of rankings, the markets making up the top five remains unchanged from one year ago.

The global surge in new projects comes amid declining costs of offshore wind, RenewableUK added.

In France, a consortium led by EDF secured a 600MW site at a price believed to be less than €50/MWh earlier this month.

Meanwhile, in the UK, an auction was launched at the end of May in which prices were capped at £56/MWh (€63/MWh) – below the £57.50/MWh lowest price in the UK’s previous tender, which itself marked a 50% reduction from the country’s first competitive round.

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