The total pipeline of floating offshore wind projects has more than doubled in the past 12 months in terms of capacity worldwide, from 91GW a year ago to 185GW now, according to a report published by RenewableUK on Tuesday.
According to the report, The number of projects has increased globally during that time from 130 to 230. The pipeline includes projects at any stage: operational, under construction, approved, in the planning system or at an early stage of development.
"The “EnergyPulse Insights” report was compiled by RenewableUK’s data experts. It shows that the UK is maintaining its global lead, with a pipeline much larger than any other country," RenewableUK said.
The UK’s pipeline has increased from 23GW a year ago to over 33GW, and from 29 projects to 51, which are being developed in the North Sea (Scottish and English waters), Celtic Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean.
Within the global 185GW pipeline, 121MW is fully commissioned over 9 projects in 7 countries. 96MW is under construction, 288MW is consented or in the pre-construction phase, 31GW is in planning or has a lease agreement and 153GW is in early development or is in the leasing process.
RenewableUK's report shows that 107GW (58%) of floating capacity is being developed in Europe. 33.3GW (18%) of the global floating portfolio is in the UK, of which 29GW is in Scottish waters.
Outside Europe, leasing areas off the west coast of the USA, project proposals off the south east coast of Australia, and South Korea make up the majority of the rest of the capacity.
The report states that by the end of 2030, floating wind capacity could reach 11GW in the UK, 31GW in Europe and 41GW globally.
It also notes that demand for floating foundations is expected to ramp up fast, with the potential for nearly 1,000 floating foundations to be installed in UK waters by the end of 2030. Globally 3,200 floating foundations could be installed by the end of the decade.
RenewableUK’s CEO Dan McGrail said: “The growth of floating offshore wind is surging ahead at a phenomenal rate year on year around the world. We’re proud that the UK is a global leader in this innovative technology with nearly a fifth of the total pipeline – significantly greater than any other country.
“In the years ahead, as we build projects further out to sea where wind speeds are even stronger, floating wind will play a central role in proving cheap, clean electricity for British homes as well as boosting our energy security.
“It also offers a significant opportunity to build up a whole new industry in the UK, with a world-class supply chain which will enable us to export our expertise and state of the art technology worldwide”.