GWEC and World Bank Group Target Emerging Offshore Wind Markets

The Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) and the World Bank Group (WBG) have revealed plans to work together on efforts to develop offshore wind in emerging markets.

This follows the World Bank Group’s launch of a new programme to fast-track the adoption of offshore wind energy in developing countries, supported by funding from the government of the United Kingdom.

Led by the World Bank’s Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP), in partnership with the International Finance Corporation, the USD 5 million programme is being initiated thanks to a GBP 20 million grant to ESMAP from the United Kingdom government to help low- and middle-income countries implement environmentally sustainable energy solutions.

The programme will convene developing country governments, commercial developers, development partners, and wind energy experts to raise awareness around offshore wind opportunities in emerging markets and lay the groundwork for a pipeline of new projects that could be supported by World Bank or IFC financing. The World Bank and IFC will work with public and private sector partners to undertake technical studies and develop national strategies to facilitate the adoption of offshore wind.

“Offshore wind has already made significant strides in markets such as Europe and China, but its true potential reaches far beyond these established areas,” Ben Backwell, CEO at GWEC, said.

”GWEC’s Offshore Wind Taskforce was established to help an increasing number of countries provide large-scale, competitive clean power from offshore wind that can help them meet their climate commitments and their sustainable development objectives. The cooperation with the World Bank Group is a significant step forward in this journey. Through knowledge-sharing and partnership, we can better achieve our shared vision for development through sustainable energy.”

WBG and GWEC will organise a series of workshops and other events to discuss the potential of offshore wind in new and emerging markets and to facilitate knowledge sharing and the diffusion of best practices.

As part of their cooperation, a WBG representative will sit on the GWEC Offshore Wind Task Force and contribute to the activities of that group. A GWEC representative will also sit on an advisory committee to be set up by the WBG.

“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.

Offshore wind now represents about USD 26 billion in annual investments – or 8 percent of new global investments in clean energy – and this proportion is set to increase dramatically, with about USD 500 billion expected to be invested in offshore wind projects by 2030, WBG said.

This represents an important opportunity for countries with strong offshore wind resources, including Brazil, Indonesia, India, the Philippines, South Africa, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam. Offshore wind can also provide additional clean generation capacity for developing countries with populations living without access to reliable electricity.

Vietnam’s technical potential for fixed and floating offshore wind is 309GW, while South Africa and Brazil have 356GW and 526GW in total technical offshore wind potential respectively. This represents a significant opportunity for cost-competitive, large-scale fixed or floating offshore wind projects located close to areas of high energy demand, according to WBG.

Photo: Siemens Gamesa/Illustration

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