Global Floating Wind on Path to Miss 2030 Targets, Report Says

A new report, published by 4C Offshore, has revealed that many countries are falling behind their 2030 floating offshore wind targets, but there could be still a chance to meet them.

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According to the latest 4C Offshore’s Global Floating Wind report, targets for 2030 wind production from floating, rather than fixed, wind farms are set to be missed across the globe.

However, the report outlines that, rather than being a supply issue, lack of progress is often down to administrative delays, with governments failing to follow up on their climate promises with clear policies and permitting and regulatory frameworks to kick-start floating offshore wind in their territories.

Although the current trajectory points in the wrong direction, there is still some time to regain lost ground, and with the potential for floating wind installation to begin within seven years of site award, the world is now entering a crucial window of opportunity, according to the report.

“Compared with the previous report from May 2022, our forecasts to 2030 and 2035 have both been reduced by 2 GW”, said Ivan Slengesol, Vice President of New Energy Solutions at TGS, 4C’s parent company.

“This decrease reflects continued policy-side delays and slow authorization processes in multiple countries. Despite high ambitions from developers, with several companies having floating project pipelines greater than 10 GW, development will slow without proper government support.”

The latest report estimates 14 GW of floating wind power will be installed or in construction offshore by 2030.

However, this represents only 5 per cent of the total expected offshore wind installations and is less than the 54 GW targeted by the world’s energy regulators.

Although countries like Japan, Norway, Portugal, and the UK were first out of the blocks, the US and South Korea appear to carry the greatest momentum, according to the report.

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Both are expected to produce around 10 GW of energy from floating wind by 2035, representing nearly half of the world’s total. China is also expected to commercialize quickly, with the first GW-scale project being commissioned before 2030.

“Aside from the issues of limited geographical suitability for fixed wind turbine installation, floating wind farms can be less visible from the shore, carry fewer environmental impacts, and access stronger wind resources. Competition and expectations remain high, but progress is too slow. Governments must shift their focus from the 2030-2040 time horizon to the here and now”, said Richard Auckland, Director of Research at 4C offshore.

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