Offshore Wind Outlook 2019

World Energy Outlook Special Report

"Offshore wind currently provides just 0.3% of global power generation, but its potential is vast ... much work remains to be done by governments and industry for it to become a mainstay of clean energy transitions."
Dr Fatih Birol, IEA Executive Director


Offshore wind power will expand impressively over the next two decades, boosting efforts to decarbonise energy systems and reduce air pollution as it becomes a growing part of electricity supply.

Offshore Wind Outlook 2019 is the most comprehensive global study on the subject to date, combining the latest technology and market developments with a specially commissioned new geospatial analysis.

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Offshore wind's remarkable potential


The global offshore wind market grew nearly 30% per year between 2010 and 2018, benefitting from rapid technology improvements and about 150 new offshore wind projects are in active development around the world. Europe in particular has fostered the technology’s development, led by the United Kingdom, Germany and Denmark, but China added more capacity than any other country in 2018.

	Electricity demand	Offshore wind potential
European Union	2884	33844
United States	4010.79	8086.03
Japan	993.74	8080.32
China	6329.53	1993.23
India	1242.82	4753.26
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Europe is a leader in offshore wind technology


The growth of the offshore wind industry has been fostered in European countries bordering the North Seas, where high quality wind resources and relatively shallow water have provided exceptionally good conditions in which to develop offshore wind technologies and bring them to market.

	United Kingdom	Germany	Netherlands	France	Belgium	Denmark	Others
1991	0	0	0	0	0	0.00495	0
2018	8.22105	6.4457	1.1178	0.004	1.1862	1.32714	0.3386
2030	26.9	17.2	11.5	6.5	4	5	6.12486
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Capacity is set to grow around the world


Alongside Europe, China has taken strides forward on offshore wind and now stands among the market leaders. In 2018, China added 1.6 GW of offshore wind capacity, the most of any country.

The global offshore wind market is set to expand significantly over the next two decades, growing by 13% per year in the Stated Policies Scenario. Bolstered by policy targets and falling technology costs, global offshore wind capacity is projected to increase fifteen-fold to 2040, becoming a $1 trillion industry over the next two decades - matching capital spending on gas- and coal-fired capacity over the same period. This level of investment means that offshore wind accounts for 10% of investment in renewables-based power plants globally.

	2018	2040
European Union	19.15254	126.9444
China	3.6575	107.292
United States	0.0646	37.6323
Korea	0.03	24.97268
India	0.03	16.31432
Japan	0	4.09761
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The only variable baseload power generation technology


Offshore wind is in a category of its own, as the only variable baseload power generation technology. New offshore wind projects have capacity factors of 40%-50%, as larger turbines and other technology improvements are helping to make the most of available wind resources.

	blank	capacity factor	capacity factor	capacity factor	capacity factor
Efficient gas	29	34			
Solar PV	10		11		
Onshore wind	23			21	
Offshore wind	29				23
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Geospatial analysis