The offshore wind industry is poised to increase its output eightfold, from 29 to 234 gigawatts, and create 900,000 or more jobs by 2030, according to new analysis by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) that shows China leading the growth in installed capacity.
“As well as a green economic recovery, the report found that every gigawatt of offshore wind helped to avoid 3.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere and contributing to the climate crisis,” The Guardian writes.
The GWEC’s latest tally is 15 GW higher than its previous, after offshore operators added 6.1 GW in 2019, the sector’s fastest rise ever.
“The offshore market has grown on average by almost a quarter every year since 2013, led by a flurry of new projects in European waters, which hold 75% of the world’s offshore wind farms,” The Guardian says. “However, the rate of growth is expected to accelerate in the next 10 years because of a growing appetite for clean energy in countries in the Asia-Pacific region, according to GWEC.”
The industry is “truly going global” as governments around the world “recognize the role the technology can play in kickstarting post-COVID economic recovery,” said GWEC CEO Ben Backwell. “Over the coming decade we will see emerging offshore wind markets like Japan, Korea, and Vietnam move to full deployment, and see the first offshore turbines installed in a number of new countries in Asia, Latin America, and Africa.”
The Guardian says China brought a record 2.4 GW of offshore wind online last year, while the United Kingdom installed 1.8 GW and Germany added 1.1 GW. “The UK held the top spot for the largest market for offshore wind at the end of last year with 9.7 GW in operation, followed by Germany with 7.5 GW and China with 6.8 GW,” the paper writes. “But by the end of the decade China is expected to host more than a fifth of the world’s offshore wind turbines, equating to 52 GW, while the UK tally climbs to 40.3 GW.”