Global Wind Energy Council & World Bank To Cooperate On New Offshore Wind Development

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The Global Wind Energy Council and the World Bank Group announced plans on Thursday to cooperate on efforts to develop new offshore wind in emerging markets.

Specifically, the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) will coordinate with the World Bank Group’s Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) on efforts to accelerate the uptake of offshore wind in emerging markets by helping countries assess their offshore wind potential and providing technical assistance to help develop a growing pipeline of projects that are ready for investment by renewable energy developers.

GWEC and the World Bank believe that offshore wind — which has grown rapidly in the past decade, having grown nearly five-fold between 2011 and the end of 2018 — is an important opportunity for countries with strong offshore wind resources such as Brazil, Indonesia, India, the Philippines, South Africa, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam. Further, offshore wind could also provide additional clean generating capacity for developing countries with populations that live without access to reliable electricity.

Already, it is believed that Vietnam’s technical potential for fixed and floating offshore wind sits at an impressive 309 gigawatts (GW), while South Africa has access to 356 GW and Brazil a huge 526 GW.

“Offshore wind is a clean, reliable and secure source of energy with massive potential to transform the energy mix in countries that have great wind resources. We have seen it work in Europe – we can now make use of global experience to scale up offshore wind projects in emerging markets,” said Riccardo Puliti, Senior Director and Head of Energy and Extractives at the World Bank.

“We see great opportunity for offshore wind development at scale and are looking forward to working with private sector developers to open up new investment opportunities in countries that could benefit from this increasingly competitive source of renewable energy,” said Bertrand de la Borde, IFC Director and Global Head of Energy and Mining.

The $5 million program is being made possible through a £20 million grant to ESMAP from the United Kingdom government to help low- and middle-income countries implement environmentally sustainable energy solutions.

“The UK is a world leader in offshore wind, with the largest installed capacity in Europe,” said Energy & Clean Growth UK Government Minister, Claire Perry. “This investment will allow our world-leading expertise to be shared globally to encourage developing countries to move away from dirty coal power and embrace renewable energy, growing their economies.”

The work will also include GWEC’s Offshore Wind Task Force, which was formed in September 2018 to accelerate the development of offshore wind technology in non-European markets such as Asia and North America.

“Offshore wind has huge potential in many regions, as the world looks for competitive, zero carbon energy sources that can be deployed at scale and in relatively fast time frames,” said the “father” of the modern wind industry, Henrik Stiesdal, the creator of the first large-scale offshore wind project, who will serve as GWEC’s Global Offshore Wind Ambassador, speaking last year. “However, the industry needs to find the most appropriate technologies for deploying offshore wind in different conditions – for example floating offshore wind in regions with deep water levels, and creating efficient supply chains across the globe.”

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Joshua S Hill

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