Offshore wind investment hits record despite inflationary challenges

The full-year 2023 statistics for the offshore wind sector have been released by Clarksons Research onto its Renewables Intelligence Network. Steve Gordon, Managing Director of Clarksons Research, said that, despite offshore wind facing clear inflationary challenges in 2023, the sector showed resilience, with newly sanctioned project investment reached a record high globally – at $59bn and 19.8GW).

Inflation added to the project CAPEX levels, but firm investment was driven primarily by large Final Investment Decisions, often termed FIDs, in Europe, where a record $33bn (9.2GW) was committed .The $33bn was 33% higher than the previous record, while the 9.2GW was 24% up on the previous record, both of which were set in 2020.

Active offshore wind capacity grew by 10% throughout 2023 to reach 68GW globally by December 31st.

6.2GW of capacity was fully commissioned last year, while 48GW of capacity was under construction.

There were now 19 countries with active offshore wind capacity, and this was projected to rise to 29 by 2030. Spain produced its first power from offshore wind last year, while the first offshore wind auction in Lithuania was held.

Gordon said that the long-term outlook for growth of the offshore wind sector remained positive, and offshore wind looked set to play a vital role in the Energy Transition of the next few decades. By 2030 about 250GW (some 30,000 turbines, 720 farms) was projected to be active globally, and offshore wind could account for between 7% to 10% of the global energy mix by 2050 (compared with just 0.4% today).