With developers planning for 1.7TW of offshore wind projects across 40 nations, the market has reasons to cheer – but with 70% of this in countries with sub-1GW installed what challenges does this present to the global build-out? asks Victoria Maguire Toft
Close to 40 countries around the world have projects at various stages of development adding up to a total of around 1.7TW of plant capacity – and this is just the markets where developers have announced projects: A number of other nations are sketching out policy frameworks and ‘roadmaps’ to explore how offshore wind resources could help fuel their evolving energy transitions.
However, 70% of named offshore wind projects lie in markets with less than 1GW of plant installed. Ambitions are running high and new frontiers in both bottom-fixed and floating wind sectors are emerging, even though many of these projects will not materialize this side of 2040.
It also bears remembering that only 19 nations have any experience at all in building offshore wind farms and just seven had more than 1GW in operation as of the end of last year.
As the global offshore wind build-out expands further and branches out to frontier plays off new continents, the industry will have to conquer fresh challenges in the coming decades – trials that go beyond the current industrial woes linked to inflationary cost pressures and uncertainty of routes to market for the power that will be produced.
Some of the ‘known unknowns’ revolve around widely discussed issues of availability of local grid connections and capacity, paucity of port infrastructure, skill shortage and knowledge gaps, and shortage of vessels and equipment supply. But solutions to deal with new ecosystems, environmental conditions and novel models of partnership and business will also need to be developed.
This article was first published in Aegir Insights' intelligence newsletter, Beaufort.
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