The global offshore wind industry is set to see a surge of over $100 billion in investments and installations this decade. This will come as part of the world countries’ transition to cleaner sources of energy to meet their climate goals.
Rystad Energy Research projected total capital expenditure to more than double from $46 billion in 2021 to $102 billion in 2030. A significant uptick in capacity installations has been recorded in Europe – refreshing the region’s position as the global leader in offshore wind space. Capital expenditure in Europe is forecast to approach $53 billion in 2030 – up from $15 billion in 2021.
The Americas, on the other hand, has been slow to enter the offshore wind market. But this is set to change. With the coming in of the Biden administration, the US offshore wind market has seen an increase in state-level policy commitments, federal lease sales, offtake agreements, and supply chain activities. IHS Markit says US’s offshore wind installed capacity will reach 21 GW by 2030. This is attributed to more than $100 billion in investment in the industry in the next nine years. Moreover, it shows impressive growth in the US’s share of the global total installed offshore wind capacity – from 0% to about 9% in 2030. However, this won’t be free of bottlenecks. Delays are expected due to the US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s (BOEM) lengthy investigation of the implications of the project build-out.
In the east, China is a major player in the offshore wind market. But it has been slow in terms of investments. Beijing invested around $25 billion in 2020. Its total expenditure is set to gradually decline to $7.7 billion in 2030. This is because of feed-in tariffs, which prompted infrastructure investments to be phased out in 2021. Emerging market dynamics are also to be blamed as it will lower costs for any new capacity additions in the region.
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Anubhav Venkatesh, the offshore wind analyst at Rystad Energy, said the industry is set for substantial growth this decade with over 265 gigawatts of operational capacity expected by 2030. With the world moving towards a greener energy mix, Rystad Energy expects investments in the offshore wind industry to soar and provide ample opportunities for suppliers to cash in. More than 50% is expected to go towards the manufacturing and installation of turbines and foundations – these are the two largest financial components of the wind farm.
Furthermore, new offshore wind projects are likely to emerge through 2035. Europe currently leads the world with the largest number of installations, over 26 GW of operational capacity, representing more than 50% of the global total. By 2026, Europe will have an installed base of over 57 GW. Orsted, a Danish giant, will remain the region’s leading offshore wind developer. Rystad Energy stated that with over 8,500 turbines to be operational in Europe by 2026-end, about 60% are likely to be Siemens Gamesa units. Vestas is likely to be the second-most successful turbine manufacturer by the end of 2026.