UK Leads Offshore Wind Rankings As Global Pipeline Increases 10% In 2018, Reports RenewableUK

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The global offshore wind energy pipeline has grown by 10% in the past year to over 104 gigawatts (GW) according to new data published by RenewableUK, which also showed that the United Kingdom remains the largest offshore wind market in the world with a portfolio of 35.2 GW.

RenewableUK — the trade and professional body for the wind, wave, and tidal energy industries in the UK — published its Offshore Wind Project intelligence report this week, which details the portfolio of offshore wind projects in operation, under construction, or in development around the globe for the 12 months leading up to June. The report showed that this global portfolio increased by 10% since last year, increasing from 95 GW in June 2017 to 104 GW this month.

Unsurprisingly, given the country’s historic leadership and ambition, the UK retains its top spot as the world’s largest offshore wind market with a portfolio of 35.2 GW — a figure which could be pushed even higher by potential extensions to existing wind farms recently announced by The Crown Estate, which could increase it by 3 GW. It is followed by Germany with 23.4 GW, and then coming out of seemingly nowhere — the country wasn’t even in the Top 10 last year — was Taiwan with a pipeline of 8.3 GW thanks to recent government and industry ambition which increased its pipeline by 6.7 GW (read more here). Taiwan sped past the United States and China to become the third largest market, and the largest outside of Europe.

“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,” said RenewableUK CEO Hugh McNeal. “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.”

While the majority (52%) of the world’s offshore wind portfolio is owned by a myriad of smaller entities, the world’s single largest owner is Ørsted, which owns 14% of the global portfolio, followed by Vattenfall with 8% and Iberdrola with 6%.

Innogy, which owns 4%, is nevertheless a big player in the UK where it owns 1 GW of offshore wind power. innogy’s Director of Offshore Investment & Asset Management, Richard Sandford, commented:

“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.”

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Joshua S Hill

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