Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the world’s installed offshore wind capacity increased 15% in 2020, reaching 31.9 gigawatts (GW) by year-end, up from 27.7 GW at the end of 2019, estimates Rystad Energy.
China was the top contributor in 2020, accounting for 39% of last year’s additions, followed by the Netherlands (18%) and the United Kingdom (17%).
Rystad Energy expects global installed offshore wind capacity to increase further by 11.8 GW in 2021, a large 37% increase from 31.9 GW in 2020. China will continue to lead new capacity additions, contributing 63% of the expected growth.
When Covid-19 first hit the Chinese market, fears arose about supply chain disruptions and offshore wind developers were concerned about project delays in the future.
And as the pandemic spread around the world, the risks of a severe downturn in construction activity increased. More countries closed their borders and were blockaded, and several turbine and other component manufacturing sites temporarily shut down operations.
However, with the first wave of the virus settling in, the offshore wind market returned to a growth trajectory, supported by higher capacity targets from several nations.
While remaining resilient in an uncertain market was key in 2020, this year the industry is positioned for record growth, especially as commissioning activities accelerate in Asia and around the world.
Other regions of Asia outside of China are gearing up for a breakthrough year, Taiwan and Vietnam have finally begun to add significant volumes to their projects, making 2021 a year to look forward to in the offshore wind market.