The reason behind the figure is the advancing age of the wind power installations. According to 2020 figures, the total world-wide capacity of wind power installations in operation for more than 10 years totalled 1.8 gigawatts. (GW). By 2030, according to Wood Mackenzie’s forecast, that figure will rise to 20 GW. By way of comparison, total installed world capacity of offshore generators amounts to 34.4 GW, including 24.9 GW in Europe, according to figures from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
Offshore power generation remains a relatively small niche. Figures from IRENA show that 95 % of wind energy capacity in 2020 was land-based (698.9 GW) and only 5 % offshore (34.4 GWt). The main reason behind this is the high level of capital investment required for offshore generation. In 2019, in the European Union, capital expenditure directed at construction of offshore installations ($3,800 per KWh of capacity) was more than twice the level of expenditure on land-based installations ($1,560 per KWh), according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).
But, according to forecasts by Wood Mackenzie, the sector will undergo rapid growth over the next 10 years. By 2030, the installed capacity of offshore wind generators will increase by 221 GW (without taking account of stations taken out of service) – a level seven times that recorded in 2020 (34.4 GW). Thanks to that increase, by 2025, offshore wind generation will account for 30 % of the market of sea-based energy (extraction of oil and gas, as well as wind power).
Russian oil and gas companies are beginning to show an interest in wind power. In June 2021, the “Zarubezhneft” company announced its intention to build, along with Belgium’s DEME, an offshore wind farm in Vietnam with a capacity of 1 GW. And in March, it was announced that Novatek was considering the construction of a wind farm in the Arctic port of Sabetta. Although the project will formally be land-based, it will be able to take advantage of air currents from the Kara Sea.