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Global Wind pipeline passes 500 GW

Global Wind pipeline passes 500 GW

The GWEC Global Wind Report 2022 edition forecasts installation of more than 500GW of new wind energy capacity up to and beyond 2025.

2021 saw vast growth in wind installations - especially offshore. Of 94 GW of wind capacity installed worldwide, 21 GW was commissioned offshore - three times more than in 2020. Over 90 GW of global offshore capacity is expected to be added by 2026 (18.1 GW annually). This would bring offshore wind’s share of new installations round the world to 24.4% by 2026, up 2.1% from today.

As a result, total global offshore capacity would reach 57GW, equal to 7% of global installations. Looking at combined onshore and offshore wind installations, GWEC Market Intelligence expects 557 GW of new capacity to be added until 2026, under current policies. That’s over 110 GW each year. CAGR for offshore wind in the next five years is 8.3%, for onshore wind this is 6.1%.



Source GWEC

China, world leader in new installations for the fourth year running, was responsible for 80% of offshore growth, surpassing the UK as the world’s largest offshore market. However, the UK is the floating offshore wind front runner, with 57 MW installed last year, bringing total capacity to 139 MW. China remains Asia’s largest offshore player, adding 39 GW over the next five years, followed by Taiwan (6.6 GW), Vietnam (2.2 GW), South Korea (1.7 GW) and Japan (1 GW). In Europe, 2022 is likely to be another record year for onshore wind, partly driven by expected market growth across several regions. The EU is calling for 1,000 GW onshore and to 24.4 300 GW offshore wind by 2050.

Source: RenewableUK

Amongst the positive news, states GWEC, it is important to point out that wind energy needs to grow much faster in order to make the global energy transition possible. At the current rate, GWEC Market Intelligence predicts that by 2030 we will have less than two-thirds of the wind energy capacity required for the 1.5°C and net zero pathway set out by IRENA in their 2050 roadmap.

Wind deployment needs to increase exponentially this decade in order to reach the goal of over 8,000 GW of installed capacity worldwide by 2050. However, in many countries, lack of infrastructure such as grid and transmission networks is limiting growth and innovation. There is also insufficient trained labour capacity. Further issues to be addressed include environmental challenges, resistance from local communities, complex permitting schemes and land acquisition conflicts.

However, overall, government commitments to net zero, renewed urgency for achieving energy security, an increase in the number of companies developing wind projects, and technological progress are driving a positive outlook for offshore wind. However, GWEC points out that action is required to deliver the wind capacity required to reach climate goals. Floating offshore wind is expected to play a key role in delivering this capacity, and large oil and gas companies are playing an important part in developing and commercialising this market, relying on offshore engineering skills.

Floating foundations may become viable for water depths of 1,000 meters and more, increasing the viable sea area for offshore wind by a factor of five. The power rating of wind turbines is also growing significantly. Turbines with a capacity of 15 megawatts and higher are expected to be available within five years. Further advances in floating wind technology and standardization in the coming decade are expected to further boost performance.

Another positive development is the lower Levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) - the price at which generated electricity should be sold for the system to break even at the end of its lifetime. According to IRENA, global weighted-average LCOE for onshore wind dropped $0.04/kWh by 2020 (nearly 60% decline over the past decade) while fixed-bottom offshore wind LCOE reached $0.08/kWh (almost 50% decline).

RenewableUK: the total worldwide offshore wind project pipeline now stands at 517 GW.

S&P Global Ratings: global installed capacity will surpass 180GW by 2030 – six times higher than today. Together, the 10 largest developers by project size have a 26,454 MW under development.

McKinsey: global installed offshore wind capacity to reach 630 gigawatts by 2050.

Wood Mackenzie (May 2022): total installed offshore wind capacity will reach 330GW by 2031. That’s almost ten times the 2020 capacity level of 34GW in 2020.

Polaris Market Research: the global offshore wind energy market may well increase from $US 33.52 bn in 2021 to $US 89.76 bn by 2030.

Precedence Research: the global offshore wind energy market could surpass $US 129 bn by 2030 and the entire global wind energy market could be worth around US$ 174.75 bn in that year.