Record 6.1 GW of new offshore wind capacity installed globally in 2019

Source: press release, 19 March 2020

Working 110 metres above ground
Working 110 metres above ground (photo: GWEC)

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 total installed offshore wind capacity could reach nearly 90 GW globally over the next 5 years, an increase of almost 207% from today’s capacity.

Eight markets reported new offshore wind installations in 2019:

  • China – 2,395 MW
  • United Kingdom – 1,764 MW
  • Germany – 1,111 MW
  • Denmark – 374 MW
  • Belgium – 370 MW
  • Taiwan – 120 MW
  • Portugal – 8 MW (floating)
  • Japan – 3 MW (floating)

Ben Backwell, CEO at GWEC comments, “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, Asia Pacific is now increasingly contributing to this growth, with China leading the way as the global offshore wind leader in new capacity. It is also exciting to see floating wind capacity being installed in 2019, as once this technology reaches industrial scale, it will open up whole new markets and opportunities for offshore wind.”

“Offshore wind is a huge opportunity to meet our climate targets, as it can replace expensive imported fuels, provide clean energy solutions to countries that have limited for land availability, and supply increasingly competitive zero-carbon energy at a massive scale. The economic benefits of offshore wind cannot be understated, with the potential to generate hundreds of billions of dollars in investments, create tens of thousands of jobs and build a supply chain that can all contribute to thriving local economies,” he adds.

Alastair Dutton, Chair of GWEC’s Global Offshore Wind Task Force says, “While 2019 offshore wind installations were driven by established market leaders, over the next few years we will see more and more countries establish their offshore industry, expanding into new markets in Europe, the US and Asia Pacific. As these new markets are established, this will further drive the exponential growth of the global offshore wind industry. We need to focus now on getting the right policy frameworks set up in these emerging markets to facilitate this growth and pave the way for a wider global build-out of capacity post-2030.”