In a new analysis released by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), Innovation Outlook: Offshore Wind, offshore wind power has the potential to grow from 13GW in 2015, to 100GW in 2030.
According to the energy agency, the report “provides an overview of the future developments that will drive the offshore wind power boom, including technology advancements and further cost declines.”
Adnan Z. Amin, director-general of IRENA commented: “Offshore wind power is poised to become a leading power generation technology in a decarbonised global economy.”
“Now that onshore wind power is cost-competitive with conventional power generation technologies, more attention is shifting to offshore applications, characterised by high technical power generation potential.”
IRENA: Tech advancements to drive offshore wind
The report notes that technological advancements in the sector will drive the offshore wind boom.
The report highlights upcoming innovations that will enable sector development, including next generation wind turbines with larger blades, and floating turbines, which will open up new markets in deeper waters, IRENA said in a statement.
“These advancements, combined with other sector developments, will reduce average costs for electricity generated by offshore wind farms by 57% over time – from $170 per MWh in 2015 to $74 per MWh in 2045,” the agency said.
“The potential for offshore wind is enormous, but to realise it, governments must support technology innovation, and implement mechanisms to reduce technical risk and finance costs,” said Stefen Gsaenger, secretary-general of the World Wind Energy Association.
“This report from IRENA helps lay the foundation for this needed action.”
Innovation Outlook: Offshore Wind provides a set of recommendations for the effective implementation of policy mechanisms and incentive programmes that would allow offshore wind technology to realise its potential to decarbonise the energy market.
Recommendations include provisioning targeted research and development funding and supporting information sharing and skills development, amongst other measures.