Global Offshore Wind Capacity Rises by 10.8 GW in 2023, Up 24%: GWEC

The global wind energy capacity now stands at 75.2 GW

June 18, 2024


Global offshore wind saw its second-highest capacity installations in 2023, according to a new report by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC). The industry added 10.8 GW of new capacity in 2023, up 24% from the previous year, bringing the global total to 75.2 GW.

China continues to lead the world in offshore wind development, adding 6.3 GW in 2023. Other notable contributions came from Taiwan with 692 MW, Japan with 140 MW, and South Korea with 4.2 MW​​.

“Installing almost 11 GW of offshore wind is the leading edge of a new wave of offshore wind growth. Policy progress – especially across the Asia-Pacific region and the Americas – has set us on course to regularly install record-breaking capacity annually,” said Ben Backwell, CEO Global Wind Energy Council.

By the end of 2023, 41 GW and 34 GW of offshore wind capacity were in operation in Asia and Europe, respectively. The two regions combined made up 99.9% of total global offshore wind capacity. Outside Europe and Asia, North America had 42 MW of offshore wind in operation, with all installations located in the US.

GWEC forecasts 410 GW of new capacity additions in the next decade against the global target of 380 GW by 2030. This surge in growth is projected to originate from markets such as Australia, Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, Vietnam, Brazil, Colombia, Ireland, and Poland, as recent policy advancements are paving the way for large-scale, long-term offshore wind development.

New Offshore Wind Installations

The report said that despite gaining momentum, the industry faces several challenges, particularly concerning the supply chain. By 2026/2027, all regions except China are expected to experience bottlenecks arising from key components of offshore wind projects, such as subsea cables, specialized transportation for wind turbines and their components, and ports for assembly and storage.

Unlike onshore wind projects, offshore wind requires stronger foundations and underwater cabling to transmit electricity where it is needed. The lack of these components or facilities has already led to several project delays, cancellations, or cost overruns – particularly on the East Coast of the U.S. and the North Sea of Europe.

The report predicts deficits for foundations in Europe and the U.S. after 2025. China, on the other hand, will remain in surplus. For cables, the report sees China facing overcapacity within the next few years, which could offer a solution to supply shortages elsewhere. Europe is expected to face a shortage of specialized vessels for transporting and installing wind turbines towards the end of this decade.

Global cumulative wind power capacity surpassed the 1 TW mark in 2023, achieving a year-over-year growth of 13%, GWEC said in April.

India’s Offshore Wind Ambitions

The report said that India ranks fourth globally with over 45 GW of installed onshore wind capacity and is now setting its sights on the promising offshore wind sector. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy aims to tap an estimated 70 GW of offshore wind energy capacity off the coasts of Gujarat and Tamil Nadu.

The government has taken several key steps to jumpstart this initiative in recent months. In February 2024, the Solar Energy Corporation of India announced a “Request for Selection” for a 4 GW offshore wind seabed lease tender off the coast of Tamil Nadu. This development is part of a broader strategy to award 37 GW of seabed lease capacity by 2030, as outlined in the “Strategy Paper for Establishment of Offshore Wind Energy Projects.”

The “Offshore Wind Energy Lease Rules, 2023” notification provides a regulatory framework for allocating sea blocks to developers, ensuring a development pathway.

Total Offshore WindHowever, challenges remain, including the need for substantial initial investments, grid infrastructure development, and innovative financial instruments to drive the uptake of offshore wind power, the report added.

To address these challenges, the government has planned a 10 GW grid infrastructure for offshore wind projects in Tamil Nadu and Gujarat, committed to purchasing power from initial capacities at a tariff of ₹4 (~$0.047) per unit, and approved viability gap funding for an initial 1 GW of offshore wind capacity.


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