A critical renewable energy initiative to aid the transition away from fossil fuel reliance is struggling to meet 2030 targets, according to a new report by prominent offshore wind market analysts, 4C Offshore.
The findings, published on 14 November in their latest ‘Global Floating Wind report’, indicate that progress is falling behind the targets for 2030 wind production from floating (rather than fixed) wind farms are set to be missed across the globe. However, the report notes that this is less a supply issue than a lack of progress due 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.
"Compared with the previous report from May 2022, our forecasts to 2030 and 2035 have both been reduced by 2 GW", commented Ivar Slengesol, VP of New Energy Solutions at TGS, 4C's parent company. "This decrease reflects continued policy-side delays and slow authorisation processes in [a number of] countries. Despite high ambitions from developers, with several companies having floating project pipelines greater than 10 GW, development will slow without proper government support."
But a key message from the report is that, although the current trajectory points in the wrong direction, there is still time to regain some lost ground. With the potential for floating wind installation to begin within seven years of site award, there is a crucial window of opportunity.
4C Offshore's latest report estimates that 14 GW of floating wind power will be installed or in construction offshore by 2030. However, this represents only 5% of the total expected of offshore wind installations and is less than the 54 GW targeted by the world's energy regulators. Although Japan, Norway, Portugal, and the UK were first to get started, the US and Korea appear to carry the greatest momentum. Both are expected to produce around 10 GW of energy from floating wind capacity by 2035, representing nearly half of the world's total. China is also expected to commercialise quickly, with the first GW-scale project being commissioned before 2030.