BNEF: Offshore Wind Financing Skyrockets in 2020

Offshore wind financings in the first six months of 2020 totaled USD 35 billion, up by a record 319% year-on-year, according to BloombergNEF (BNEF).

The BNEF data shows that offshore wind had by far its busiest half-year ever for final investment decisions, well above 2019’s record full-year figure, a revised USD 31.9 billion.

The first half of the year saw investment decisions made on 28 offshore wind farms, including the largest ever, the 1.5 GW Hollandse Kust Zuid off the coast of the Netherlands, costing an estimated USD 3.9 billion.

Other major deals included the 1.1 GW Seagreen project off the UK, at an estimated USD 3.8 billion, the 600 MW Changfang Xidao off Taiwan, at an estimated USD 3.6 billion, and the Fecamp and Saint-Brieuc projects in French waters, together totaling 993 MW and USD 5.4 billion.

According to BNEF, there were no fewer than 17 Chinese installations financed, led by the Guangdong Yudean Yangjiang Yangxi Shapaat 600 MW and USD 1.8 billion.

This is said to have more than offset declines in investment in solar, onshore wind and biomass.

“Offshore wind is benefitting from the 67% reduction in levelized costs achieved since 2012, and to the performance of the latest, giant turbines,” said Tom Harries, Head of wind analysis.

“But the first half of this year also owed a lot to a rush in China to finance and build, in order to take advantage of a feed-in tariff before it expires at the end of 2021. I expect a slowdown in offshore wind investment globally in the second half, with potentially a new spike early next year.”

Overall investment in new renewable energy capacity, excluding large hydro-electric dams, was USD 132.4 billion in the first half of 2020, up 5% from a revised USD 125.8 billion in the same period last year.

China was the largest market again, investing USD 41.6 billion in 1H 2020, up 42% compared to the same period in 2019 thanks to its offshore wind boom, while Europe secured USD 36.5 billion, up 50%.

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