GWEC report on floating offshore wind projects

Floating wind farm

The Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) has published a report on floating offshore wind projects.

The report called Floating Offshore Wind – a Global Opportunity focuses on five countries – Ireland, Italy, Morocco, Philippines and USA – which all have significant floating wind potential.

These five countries together with the most mature floating markets – UK, South Korea, France and Japan – could spearhead the next wave of floating wind.

The report, from research and analytics company Aegir Insights, shows the critical role of political leadership in kick-starting floating offshore wind markets. The market is nascent, but could be huge: 80 percent of the world’s offshore wind resource potential lies in waters deeper than 60m.

For many countries, the technical potential for floating offshore wind dwarfs that of fixed-bottom turbines. If offshore wind is to ramp up its contribution to net zero, rapid deployment of floating wind farms will be needed. This requires political leadership and support to make a reality.

The five countries profiled have a combined floating offshore wind technical potential of 3861GW, equivalent to between 2.6 times – for Italy – and an astonishing 69 times – for Ireland – their current electricity demand.”

Ireland’s government plans, coupled with favourable site conditions make for an attractive floating offshore wind market, provided that the transmission grid and port infrastructure is upgraded.

Italy, a commitment to net zero is driving the growth of wind power. A lack of space on land and the absence of sites suitable for fixed-bottom wind will drive a focus onto floating offshore wind.

Morocco, a great wind resource, a lack of access to fixed offshore wind, coupled with Government desire to meet green goals and increase energy security, mean high interest in floating offshore wind.

The Philippines, high economic growth is driving increased electricity demand. Floating offshore wind sites with good resources are located close to load centres and the Government has an ambitious agenda. However, tariffs and infrastructure could pose challenges.

USA (Pacific), lack of access to fixed offshore wind sites, coupled with high ambition from the state and federal governments all point to rapid growth of floating offshore wind. However, major grid investment will be required to support connection.