The latest data released by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) shows that the global offshore wind industry added 6.1 GW of offshore wind capacity in 2019, a record year for the industry and an impressive 35.5% increase on the previous year, which saw 4.5 GW installed.
This growth is set to accelerate, with GWEC Market Intelligence’s preliminary forecasts finding that an additional 50 GW of new offshore wind capacity could be installed by 2024 globally. This would mean that the total installed offshore wind capacity could reach nearly 90 GW globally over the next five years, an increase of almost 207% from today’s capacity.
Europe remained the largest market for offshore wind, accounting for 59% of new installations in 2019, while the Asia-Pacific region accounted for 41%. China remains the overall leader in new installations for offshore wind, adding more than 2.3 GW capacity in 2019, with the U.K. and Germany in second and third place, installing 1.8 GW and 1.1 GW, respectively.
“In 2019, we continued to see the strong growth trend of offshore wind, which now makes up 10% of total wind energy installations. While mature markets in Europe continue to account for the majority of these installations, the Asia Pacific is now increasingly contributing to this growth, with China leading the way as the global offshore wind leader in new capacity,” says Ben Backwell, CEO at GWEC.
“It is also exciting to see floating wind capacity being installed in 2019, as once this technology reaches an industrial scale, it will open up whole new markets and opportunities for offshore wind,” he adds.
Offshore wind accounted for approximately 10% of new wind power installations in 2019, an increase from 5% in 2015.
GWEC expects over 50 GW of new offshore wind capacity to be installed from 2020-2024, as projects in emerging markets with ambitious targets for offshore wind such as the U.S., Taiwan, Japan, Vietnam and South Korea are realized.
GWEC’s full Global Wind Report will be released on March 25.