Offshore Wind Continues Global Trajectory


Dan Pearson, Head of EMEA at The Renewables Consulting Group and Partner at ERM: Environmental Resources Management
Dan Pearson, Head of EMEA at RCG Group and Partner at ERM

Dan Pearson, Head of EMEA at The Renewables Consulting Group and Partner at ERM: Environmental Resources Management, says offshore wind’s ongoing maturation and its declining costs for offtake have inspired governments and investors to embrace the technology, with many governments pointing to and in some cases, relying on offshore wind as a cornerstone to achieve their Net Zero targets.


It’s no secret why governments, investors and institutions are selecting offshore wind to chase their Net Zero ambitions. It is because these entities have come to the realization that offshore wind can help to decarbonise economies, create jobs and fortify their supply chains. From the UK to the US, from Australia to Brazil and nearly everywhere in between, offshore wind has become a global growth engine.

According to RCG’s Annual Global Offshore Wind Market Report, the offshore wind pipeline grew by more than 200 GW during 2021 with substantial gains in established offshore wind markets like the UK and the US and emerging markets.


Leasing activity – particularly across Europe – dominated the past year. Scotland allocated almost 25 GW of capacity in the Scotwind process, its first offshore leasing round in a decade. The first contract for differences (CFD) round for offshore wind projects took place in Poland, with 5.9 GW of capacity securing a route to market.​ The first new auction for projects under Germany’s offshore wind act also occurred. The first commercial-scale floating wind project auction in France was launched. Many more auction firsts are to be expected in the coming years, as the groundwork was laid for future site allocations in Spain, Greece, Italy, Norway, Ireland and Lithuania.


New markets, such as Australia, Italy, Finland, Brazil and Colombia have turned to offshore wind as a solution for a future generation and underscore the growing popularity of offshore wind as a viable option to support the transition to a low-carbon economy. What’s more, thanks to related disciplines such as floating wind, offshore wind growth shows no signs of abating.


In fact, floating offshore wind continues to be a viable option for deep water seabed areas. Since 2020, total capacity of floating projects increased by 116 GW. More than 54 GW of floating capacity was added to the floating project pipeline in the Europe Middle East Africa EMEA region since 2020.


Since 2020, total global capacity of floating projects has increased by more than 116 GW. Despite no project of more than 50 MW being fully commissioned to date, increasing confidence in the viability of the technology has encouraged developers to propose multi-GW sites across all regions in 2021. New sites were announced in markets yet to establish support mechanisms for floating offshore wind, such as Brazil, Australia, Sweden, Italy and Spain. Pre-commercial and large-scale sites were also announced in the UK, USA, Taiwan and Japan during the year.


And projects, such as ERM Dolphyn, a first-of-its kind concept design producing large scale green hydrogen from offshore floating wind project, continue to push the technological boundaries.


Offshore wind is here.


For more on the Renewables Consulting Group’s Annual Offshore Global Market Report, visit www.thinkrcg.com

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