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RenewableUK releases new global offshore wind market rankings

19 June 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Rob Norris
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  • Global offshore wind pipeline surges by 10% in record-breaking year

  • Clear UK lead as number one in new global top 5 ranking

The portfolio of global offshore wind projects in operation, under construction or in development grew by over 10% in the last year according to new data RenewableUK is publishing at our Global Offshore Wind 2018 conference in Manchester.

The new figures from RenewableUK’s Offshore Wind Project intelligence show that the global pipeline of offshore wind projects stands at over 104 gigawatts (GW), up from 95GW in June 2017.

The new figures show the UK retaining the top spot as the largest offshore wind market in the world with a portfolio of 35.2GW, followed by Germany (23.4GW), Taiwan (8.3GW), China (7.7GW) and the USA (7.5GW) rounds out the top 5. These countries share just under 80% of the global market.

The latest figures do not include possible extensions of existing wind farms totalling nearly 3GW recently announced by The Crown Estate – which could push the UK even further ahead when they are confirmed next summer.

Taiwan made the biggest gains in the last 12 months adding 6.7GW which accounts for over two-thirds (68%) of global growth. Although it was not in the top 10 in 2017, Taiwan has powered past the USA and China to become the third largest market in the world and the largest outside Europe.

The UK retains its global number one position in a year which saw auctions for new power contracts (Contracts for Difference) secure offshore wind at half the price of auctions in 2015, making new offshore wind cheaper than new gas and nuclear power plants.

The offshore wind industry in the UK recently announced details of its 2030 vision for the sector which would see 30GW of operational capacity installed by the end of the next decade, providing 30% of UK power needs (up from 7.1GW at present). This would lead to a doubling of jobs to over 27,000. Industry is currently working with Government on a Sector Deal to secure this. Between 2017 and 2021 investment in new offshore wind capacity is expected to total over £18.9bn.

Commenting on the new figures, RenewableUK CEO Hugh McNeal said:

“Our industry is already delivering for the UK and we want to go further, with offshore wind as the backbone of a clean, reliable and affordable energy system. To achieve this ambition, the industry will invest tens of billions of pounds, creating thousands of skilled jobs and supporting prosperous communities across the UK.

Offshore wind is a global growth opportunity and a major energy source. The sector will be worth over £30bn worldwide by 2030 and UK companies must be ready to seize opportunities in new markets. We are transforming the UK supply chain, as we grow our exports five-fold by 2030.”

innogy’s largest offshore market is in the UK, where it operates over 1GW of offshore wind power. innogy’s Director of Offshore Investment & Asset Management, Richard Sandford, said:


“The UK has demonstrated true transformational growth, from the early days of our North Hoyle project, the UK’s first commercial scale offshore wind farm, to the modern technologically ground-breaking turbines being installed today. We’re seeing bigger more powerful turbines, further from shore and in deeper waters, with developers like ourselves installing faster than ever. At the same time, the growth in offshore wind has created an industry of manufacturers and suppliers that are becoming increasingly innovative and expert, and are helping positioning the UK as a world-wide hub of offshore expertise.”

Jonathan Cole, Managing Director for Offshore Wind at ScottishPower Renewables, said:

“The UK continues to lead the world in offshore wind, and the industry here is in a strong position to capitalise on export opportunities in growing markets across the globe. We have the skills, knowledge and expertise that other markets need.”

For further information, please contact:

  1. RenewableUK is the trade and professional body for the wind, wave and tidal energy industries. Formed in 1978, and with more than 400 corporate members, RenewableUK is the country’s leading renewable energy trade association. We are celebrating our 40th anniversary this year.

  2. RenewableUK’s Offshore Wind Project Intelligence is compiled using information supplied by our member companies and from public information sources. The data highlighted in this media release covers the 12 months from June 2017 to June 2018.  

  3. The offshore wind industry’s biggest annual event Global Offshore Wind 2018 takes place on 19th-20th June at Manchester Central. Keynote political speakers include the Energy and Clean Growth Minister Claire Perry and the Sector Champion for Offshore Wind Baroness Brown of Cambridge.
    More than 2,500 delegates from 50 countries will attend the event, which includes an exhibition in which 150 companies will showcase the latest cutting-edge technology. Major event partners include the Department for International Trade, Equinor, innogy, MHI Vestas Offshore Wind, Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult and ScottishPower Renewables.

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