Europe will remain the mainstay of offshore wind power, but it sets the stage for the long-run growth of others
The centre of the global offshore wind industry is Western Europe: At end-2014, it accounted for 91% of the world’s 8.76GW of installed offshore wind capacity, with 5GW in the North Sea alone. Today, other regions are picking up investment, albeit from a much lower base.
Nearly all of the 9% of world wind-power capacity outside Europe was in China at the end of 2014. China has made a political decision to develop what are essentially large-scale demonstration projects, as the government looks to develop indigenous know-how and find additional ways of reducing air-pollution levels in coastal cities. It has also set an ambitious goal of 30GW of offshore wind power by 2020; although Steve Sawyer, secretary general of Global Wind Energy Council, notes that “5-10GW is more realistic”.