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IRENA says offshore wind could hit 100GW in 2030

Published 01 November 2016

A new report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has revealed that offshore wind has the potential to reach 100GW of capacity by 2030 driven by technology advancements and cost declines.

The agency said the sector could increase more than 650% from the 13GW in operation in 2015 to become a key electricity generation technology.

Technology advancements like next-generation turbines with larger blades and floating turbines that will allow sector development are expected to cut the average costs for electricity produced by offshore wind farms from $170 per MWh in 2015 to $95 per MWh by 2030 and $74 per MWh by 2045.

Cost declines will also be supported by non-technology innovations like new market strategies and refined tools to lower finance risks.

Offshore wind capacity is anticipated to increase to nearly 400GW in the next three decades.

IRENA director-general Adnan Z. Amin said: “Offshore wind power is poised to become a leading power generation technology in a decarbonised global economy.

“Now that onshore wind power is cost-competitive with conventional power generation technologies, more attention is shifting to offshore applications, characterised by high technical power generation potential.”

Apart from forecasting, the report also gave recommendations for effective implementation of policy mechanisms and incentive programmes which can allow offshore wind technology in realising its potential in getting rid of carbon emissions surrounding the energy industry.

Some recommendations include making provisions for targeted research and development funding and offering ways to share information and skills development.

World Wind Energy Association secretary general Stefan Gsaenger said: “The potential for offshore wind is enormous, but to realise it, governments must support technology innovation, and implement mechanisms to reduce technical risk and finance costs.

“This report from IRENA helps lay the foundation for this needed action.”

Image: IRENA says offshore wind power generation could reach 100GW by 2030. Photo: Courtesy of Matt Banks/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.