BNEF: Global Offshore Wind Market to Surge Six-Fold by 2030

World | Wind Energy

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The global offshore wind market is set to grow 16 per cent a year through to 2030, delivering a six-fold increase in capacity compared to today’s levels, according to the latest analysis from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF).

Global generation capacity from offshore wind today stands at 17.6GW, but BNEF is forecasting significant growth over the next decade or more, reaching a cumulative capacity of 115GW by 2030.

Separate previous forecasts have suggested Europe’s total installed offshore wind capacity alone could surge to 140GW as soon as 2025, while IRENA has put the global capacity figure at 100GW by 2030.

Today’s offshore wind market is led by the UK, but as early as 2022 China is expected to overtake as the market leader, while the US and Taiwan will also emerge as significant, gigawatt-strong markets in the next decade, yesterday’s analysis suggests.

However, BNEF expects annual installations to peak in 2027, after which the expiry of offshore wind subsidies and lack of regulatory transparency is set to result in a slowdown in global capacity rollout.

BNEF’s outlook report is just the latest to signal positive forecasts for the offshore wind sector, after a record-breaking year in 2017.

In particular, the UK’s Contracts for Difference auction delivered record-breaking low price of £57.50/MWh in last year’s UK Contracts for Difference auction, a price cut of 50 per cent compared to the previous auction two years earlier. Meanwhile, the first bids were placed in a subsidy-free auction for offshore wind in the Netherlands.

The report came amid further positive news for the growing market yesterday, with turbine manufacturer Vestas announcing a rise in its free cashflow expectations – operating cash flow minus capital expenditures – for 2017, following a sudden flurry of orders at the end of the year.

The global market leader said yesterday it now expected its free cashflow for 2017 to be around €1.15-1.25bn, marking a significant increase from its previous guidance of €450m-€900m.

The announcement prompted a five per cent jump in shares in the Danish firm, which surpassed 10GW in orders during 2017, according to the Financial Times.

In other recent renewables news, the African Development Bank said it achieved a 100 per cent investment in renewable energy across its energy-related investments last year, with 1.4GW of renewable power generation projects approved during 2017.