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Onshore wind is a proven, mature technology with an extensive global supply chain and offshore wind is also expected to grow rapidly.

Wind Tall

Key findings

Onshore wind capacity additions, actual and forecast by country/region, 2015-2026


Wind will grow faster than over the previous five years

Onshore wind additions through 2026 are set to be almost 25% higher on average than in the 2015-2020 period. Global onshore wind additions doubled in 2020, reaching an exceptional level of almost 110 GW. This was driven by an acceleration in China as developers rushed to complete projects before subsidies expired. While annual additions in the coming years are not expected to match 2020’s record, we forecast that they will average 75 GW per year over the 2021-2026 period.

Offshore wind power generation in the Sustainable Development Scenario, 2000-2030


Cost reductions, technology improvements and rapid deployment are needed for wind generation

To attain the 8 000 TWh required in 2030 under the Net Zero Emissions by 2050 Scenario, wind generation must increase an average 18% per year during 2021-2030. It is also necessary to raise annual capacity additions to 310 GW of onshore wind and 80 GW of offshore wind. Much stronger efforts are needed to achieve this level of sustained capacity growth, with the most important areas for improvement being cost reductions and technology improvements for offshore wind, and facilitating permitting for onshore wind.

Offshore wind technical potential and electricity demand, 2018


Offshore wind has a remarkable potential

As a part of its Offshore Wind Outlook 2019, the IEA initiated new geospatial analysis to assess the technical potential of offshore wind by country. Its study showed that the best close-to-shore offshore wind sites globally could provide almost 36 000 TWh of electricity per year, which is very close to the global electricity demand projected for 2040. However, several challenges will have to be overcome for this enormous potential to be successfully exploited. Government policies will continue to be critical in determining to the future of offshore wind.


Our work on Wind

The Wind TCP’s mission is to stimulate co-operation on wind energy research, development, and deployment (RD&D). The Wind TCP provides high quality information and analysis to member governments and commercial sector leaders by addressing technology development, deployment and its benefits, markets, and policy options.