Worldwide offshore wind energy capacity is growing in the first half of 2019 by almost 10%

Cumulative offshore wind capacity [GW] worldwide 2010-2019

The worldwide expansion of offshore wind energy, especially in Europe, but also in markets as Asia and North America, causes a further strong increase of global offshore wind capacity. Thus, in Germany, which strongly expanded its capacities within the last years, the electricity generation through offshore wind energy could be increased again: the growth rate in the German North Sea amounted to 16 % and in the German Baltic Sea even to 145 % in the first half of 2019. This is the conclusion reached by the trend and market research institute wind:research in its Half Year Report 2019 The Global Market For Offshore Wind Energy in cooperation with the World Forum Offshore Wind.

The positive development of offshore wind energy is continuing worldwide: while in 2010 the global offshore wind capacity summed up to 3 GW, it increased to 23.3 GW in 2018 and is expected to rise by an additional 27% in 2019 in comparison to the previous year. A look at the planned offshore wind energy projects shows that the positive market development will probably not change in the near future: as of the first half of 2019, the officially planned projects will lead to an overall increase in the worldwide capacity of approximately 46 GW till 2030, a growth of more than 180 %.

The majority of these planned projects is located with almost 36 GW in Europe, a further 6 GW in North America and at least 4 GW in Asia. In Europe, especially striking are the targets of Great Britain, that aim for an increase of its offshore wind capacity by more than 30 GW in 2030, which amounts to a tripling of its current capacity. Germany with its expansion target of 15 GW, the Netherlands with 11.5 GW and France with 10.4 GW fall way behind these ambitious targets. At the same time, outside Europe and especially in Asia the offshore wind energy becomes increasingly popular: thus in Asia the offshore wind capacity summed up to almost 5 GW in the first half of 2019 while in the countries China, South Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam further 3.9 GW are under construction or in planning.

Meanwhile, the importance of supporting political frameworks becomes visible in Germany. The political standstill of the last years regarding offshore wind energy has led to a decrease of investments and workload culminating in insolvencies and market exits of small as well as large market participants. However, technological improvements, such as higher turbine outputs, floating foundations or the use of hydrogen, political measures, such as CO2 pricing, as well as the rising demand for (green) energy for sector coupling, such as electromobility, overall still provide positive market conditions.

Source: Wind:research