Europe and China will act as the market locomotives and by 2030, installed capacity of offshore wind stations there will reach 119 GW and 58 GW respectively.
By way of comparison, in 2020, total capacity in Europe stood at 24.9 GW, while in China the total was 9 GW, according to data from the International Agency for Renewable Energy (IRENA).
The United States will see significant growth – from 29 MW in 2020 to 21 GW in 2030 – although president Joe Biden has called for that figure to reach 30 GW.
As a result, world-wide spending on construction of new offshore wind farms by 2030 of just $10 billion will be less than world-wide capital expenditure on greenfield and offshore gas and oil production facilities.
To be sure, once due account is taken of servicing costs for stations already in operation, the difference will stand at $53 billion ($140 billion against $87 billion for offshore oil and gas production).
In 2020, offshore facilities accounted for 5 % of world-wide capacity of wind power stations (34.4 GW of a total 733.3 GW, as calculated by IRENA). That small share is linked to a considerable extent with the high cost of offshore wind facilities. In 2020, in the European Union, unit costs for their construction ($3,480 per kW), were more than double the figure applicable to land-based wind installations ($1,500 per kW), according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). And nor are unit costs of generation in favour of offshore facilities ($110 per kWh compared to $35 for land-based wind stations), taking into consideration expenditure on repairs and servicing.
But all this has failed to deter Russian companies from showing growing interest in the new sector.
For example, last June, the Zarubezhneft company signed a memorandum with Belgian company Deme on construction of a wind farm on Vietnam’s continental shelf with a capacity of 1 GW. The plant’s first 600 MW section will go on stream in 2026, while the second 400 MW will be in operation from 2030. The complex will overlap with Vietnam’s current land-based and offshore stations (600 MW as of 2020, according to IRENA).
Plans also became known last summer for the Novatek company to build a wind power station in the Arctic port of Sabetta—although the facility will be based on land, it will be able to use energy coming from the offshore winds of the Kara Sea.