IEA: Offshore Wind Needs to Pick Up Pace

Offshore wind showed strong signs of progress with 23% generation growth in 2017, but it needs to accelerate even faster to be in line with the Sustainable Development Scenario (SDS) target, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Grid-connected offshore wind capacity additions reached almost 4GW in 2017, led by China, Germany and the United Kingdom, IEA said.

Offshore wind investment rose to record levels, at over USD 15 billion, as a result of the strong expansion in Europe and China.

However, offshore wind is not fully on track with the SDS target, but recent technology, cost and market trends indicate progress, IEA said.

In the European Union, auction results indicate that cost reductions of 30% to 50% are considered possible over the medium term. Larger turbines reduce construction costs, and larger projects bring economies of scale, standardisation and clustering.

Beyond 2020, accelerated growth will depend on final approval of the European Union’s 2030 renewable energy targets and their implementation by member states.

In China, deployment has recently picked up and is expected to grow strongly as grid connections and supply chains improve, IEA said.