19 September, 2022

New global alliance taps into offshore wind’s enormous potential

IRENA, GWEC & the Government of Denmark launch the Global Offshore Wind Alliance to drive installed global offshore wind capacity up 670% - from 57 GW in 2021 to 380 GW in 2030

19 September, New York | Offshore wind has enormous untapped potential to drive the global energy transition and tackle the climate and energy crises. A new multi-stakeholder alliance – the Global Offshore Wind Alliance – will aim to drive installed global offshore wind capacity up 670% – from 57 GW in 2021 to 380 GW in 2030. 

On Monday 19th September, representatives from the Danish, US and other governments, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) and the offshore wind industry met at a public event in New York to discuss how to unleash the potential of offshore wind

According to forecasts by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the International Energy Agency (IEA) 2,000 GW of installed offshore wind capacity will be needed in order to keep the goal of limiting global temperatures to 1.5°C within reach and achieve net zero by 2050. Yet, global installed offshore wind capacity only totaled 57 GW in 2021. 

This is why IRENA, GWEC and the Government of Denmark are creating a new Global Offshore Wind Alliance (GOWA) whose ambition is to create a global driving force for the uptake of offshore wind. Yesterday’s event was an occasion for the partners around GOWA to present the Alliance’s ambitions and visions and invite new partners from the public and private sector to join. 

Danish Minister for Climate, Energy and Utilities, Dan Jørgensen said: 

“A massive increase in energy from offshore wind is key to fight climate change, phase out fossil fuels and strengthen energy security. We cannot do it alone but must work together across the public and private sectors as well as across countries and regions. The Global Offshore Wind Alliance will be a platform to do just that. Denmark became home to the world’s first offshore wind farm in 1991. We have extensive experience in the field and a long history of sharing it with the rest of the world. We are looking forward to joining forces with partners who share our vision and ambitions.” 

Laura Daniel-Davis, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary – Land and Minerals Management, Department of the Interior, U.S., said: 

“While each country needs to take its own domestic action to address climate change, the current crisis requires us to all work together to make meaningful progress. The Global Offshore Wind Alliance will give us an opportunity to do just that, and the U.S. intends to become a member when it

is formally launched later this year. We recognize the value in global cooperation on offshore wind and the critical need for each country to do its part in tackling the climate crisis, and we hope that many others will join us as well. It’s through collaboration that we can build a more sustainable future for everyone.” 

Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Terje Aasland said: 

“I believe the Global Offshore Wind Alliance can accelerate development of offshore wind globally. Norway has high ambitions for offshore wind. With our offshore oil and gas and maritime experience, our companies can play an important role in developing floating offshore wind. International cooperation is essential if we shall succeed.” 

Francesco La Camera, Director-General, IRENA said: 

“Energy security and the brutal energy crisis are forcing us to re-evaluate our world. Offshore wind technology is the gateway to new sites leveraging high-wind resources. We can all benefit from wind farms built at gigawatt scale making them an important addition to the world’s technology portfolio. A blue economy driven by renewables also brings socioeconomic benefits to coastal communities. But to truly succeed, we need greater cooperation and this is why the Global Offshore Wind Alliance can help by creating the partnerships necessary to drive the global energy transition across oceans and land.” 

Stig Pastwa, COO, Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners said: 

“Being a global offshore wind pioneer, CIP congratulates the forming of the new and important Global Offshore Wind Alliance (GOWA), which can become a much-needed green catalyst for increased offshore wind build-out to address climate and energy issues. We need pace, predictability and faster permitting from all involved players to make the needed progress – and I hope that we can leverage GOWA as a joint public-private partnership to ensure action. At CIP, we remain committed to support GOWA’s efforts going forward and will continue to contribute to the significant build-out of renewables globally – or as we call it: build value that matters.” 

Ben Backwell, CEO, Global Wind Energy Council said: 

“The wind industry is uniting with governments and UN institutions on a mission to drive a 670% uplift in installed global wind capacity by 2030.” There couldn’t be a more crucial time for this Alliance. Dependence on volatile fossil fuels has created energy security and cost of living crises while driving runaway global heating. With offshore wind, the world has an effective solution for adding large amounts of zero carbon power at affordable costs, while creating jobs and new investments in industry and infrastructure all around the world. 

“Over the last year alone, we have seen governments set new, higher targets, while many new countries are now ready to join in and create their own offshore wind industries. By bringing governments, the wind industry, investors, institutions and communities together to raise ambition and to share knowledge and resources, GOWA is going to play a vital role in helping countries to shorten the gap between establishing targets and real world delivery.”

Notes to Editors 

The Global Offshore Wind Alliance (GOWA) 

The Global Offshore Wind Alliance (GOWA) is founded by Denmark, IRENA, and GWEC with the ambition to create a global driving force for the uptake of offshore wind through political mobilisation and the creation of a global community of practice. The aim of GOWA is to contribute to achieving a total global offshore wind capacity of a minimum of 380 GW by 2030, with 35 GW on average each year across the 2020s and a minimum of 70 GW each year from 2030, culminating in 2,000 GW by 2050. 

GOWA’s vision is a world in which offshore wind makes a significant contribution to the energy transition and the achievement of the sustainable development goals through large-scale renewable power generation, benefiting regions, countries and critical sectors such as industry and transportation. 

To benefit from the substantial potential and opportunities deriving from offshore wind, it is pivotal that governments, private sector actors, international organisations and other relevant stakeholders work together to remove the barriers to scaling up investment and finance. 

GOWA will work to: 

  • Raise ambition on offshore wind amongst governments and other public and private stakeholders. 
  • Support the creation of policy frameworks and efficient offshore wind value chains to bring new and existing markets to maturity through e.g., sharing of best practices and capacity building. 

Create an international community of practice to drive action on offshore wind deployment as a key to achieving 1.5 degrees pathways.

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Alex Bath

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