China to lead eightfold growth in global offshore wind by decade-end

Global offshore wind farm capacity could grow eightfold by the end of the decade with Chinese installations powering much of the clean energy surge.

A new industry report from the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) has revealed stronger than expected growth for the offshore wind sector, which could reach 234GW by 2030, from just over 29GW at the end of last year.

GWEC revised its forecasts up by 15GW in its latest annual report on offshore wind energy following the fastest ever growth in 2019, when new installations added 6.1GW to the global capacity.

The Council’s chief executive Ben Backwell said offshore wind was “truly going global” as governments around the world “recognise the role that the technology can play in kickstarting post-Covid economic recovery.”

While 75% of the world’s offshore wind farms are currently located in European waters, Backwell added that the rate of growth in emerging markets is likely to take off in the next 10 years, particularly the Asia-Pacific region.

A separate Wood Mackenzie report published earlier this week said that China will add 251GW of new wind capacity between 2020 and 2029, after a record 2.4GW of offshore wind power capacity came onstream in Chinese waters last year.

The country’s wind power market could reach a cumulative capacity of 461GW by the end of the decade, however Wood Mackenzie expects additions to take a 16% hit from next year as current subsidies come to an end.