New Delhi, Jun 30 (IANS): The offshore wind industry enjoyed its best-ever year in 2021, with 21.1 GW of new capacity connected to the grid, according to the latest Global Offshore Wind Report launched by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC).
India's offshore wind sector has gained momentum as a result of the Prime Minister's announcement of net-zero targets at the last UN climate change summit (COP26).
At the summit, India also announced its increased ambitions of installing 500 GW of non-fossil fuels-based power generation capacity by 2030, inclusive of 30 GW offshore wind capacity.
The GWEC report shows the offshore wind industry is preparing for a new era of dramatic growth as governments turn to the technology and establish ambitious new targets in their search for energy security and affordability, and strive to meet new net zero emissions ambitions.
The implementation of these upgraded targets should start to deliver yet more record-breaking years from 2025 onwards.
GWEC's Global Offshore Wind Report 2022, launched to coincide with the United Nations Ocean Conference in Lisbon, shows that governments are getting more ambitious about offshore wind.
GWEC Market Intelligence revises up its outlook for 2030 by 45.3 GW, or 16.7 per cent, from last year's report and believes that 260 GW of new offshore wind capacity could be added in 2022-2030, bringing the total global offshore wind installations to 316 GW by the end of this decade.
Speaking from UNOC in Lisbon, Ben Backwell, GWEC CEO, said: "It has been an astonishing year for the offshore wind sector. The governments across the world are now recognising the once in a lifetime opportunity that offshore wind represents to deliver secure, affordable and clean energy while fostering industrial development and job creation. Now we need to work to rapidly implement targets and ambitions, while building a health and afit for growth' global supply chain.
"At the same time, the wind industry needs to take its place as a key custodian of a healthy ocean ecosystem, as it becomes one of the world's most important marine-based industries.
"We need to work with stakeholders and communities in the ocean environment to ensure that we scale up in a way that ensures holistic cooperation and planning and ensures the highest level of harmony with biodiversity and conservation goals."
Political commitment to net-zero already puts offshore wind in a vital position for reaching net-zero. The energy crisis and the Russian invasion of Ukraine has seen governments further raise their offshore wind targets as they look to secure their energy supplies.
The Global Offshore Wind Report 2022 forecasts government targets will take the world to around 370 GW of capacity by 2031, close to the GWEC/IRENA Offshore Wind Energy Compact's target of 380 GW of offshore wind installations by 2030.
Commenting on the report, Martand Shardul, Policy Director, Global Wind Energy Council India, said, "India's offshore wind potential and the government's enthusiasm, which is evident from the recently announced 37 GW tender trajectory, must be juxtaposed with relevant standards, regulatory frameworks, and innovative financial instruments to safeguard investments, mitigate any possible project risks and thereby drive the participation of industry leaders in tender and project implementation.
"Given the emerging demand for green power, green hydrogen, and ammonia production, the successful realization of the 37 GW offshore wind trajectory is likely to play a catalytic role in boosting India's energy security and decarbonization efforts."