ERM’s 2024 Global Offshore Wind Report summarises key activities seen across the global offshore wind industry throughout 2023, providing analysis of key trends seen to date and a forward look of how the industry could grow over the next 10 years.

In our Global Offshore Wind Update Report released before COP28, we referenced how the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) forecasted that the world needs a threefold increase in total renewable generation by 2030 if global warming is to remain below 1.5°C. Parties at COP28 took heed of this message, pledging “to triple renewable energy capacity globally…by 2030”.

With direction set, now is the time for renewable energy expansion to accelerate. As we outline here in our 2024 Global Offshore Wind Annual Market Report, offshore wind development is accelerating but at current pace, will not meet the growth required to achieve the COP28 pledge. In 2023, operational offshore wind capacity increased to near 68 GW. This growth puts the world on track for up to around 233 GW of installed offshore wind capacity by 2030 and up to 340 GW by 2033, well short of the 2030 capacity of 494 GW that IRENA estimates is necessary to keep temperatures below 1.5°C.

While offshore wind developers, turbine manufacturers and other supply chain players are making progress, they clearly face scaling challenges ranging from environmental impacts and critical mineral and metal supply constraints to community siting pushback and short-term profit pressures. Still, as the ERM Sustainability Institute’s Renewables Conundrums report series notes, these challenges are not insurmountable and developers can overcome them with the right actions.

Developers are of course unable to completely solve these challenges on their own. The governments that pledged to triple renewable energy capacity by 2030 must also support renewable energy expansion, whether that be through auction facilitation, financial incentives, permitting reform, trade cooperation, etc.

When it comes to auction facilitation, governments are already charging ahead. In 2023, 10 governments awarded near 40 GW of offshore capacity through auctions worldwide. While established offshore wind players held many of these (e.g., Germany, the United Kingdom, the U.S. and Taiwan), others, including Lithuania, Estonia and Ireland hosted auctions for the first time, with more planned in places like Colombia, Finland and India in 2024.

Looking ahead, we estimate that there is over 1,360 GW of offshore wind in development globally. Meaning that there is more than enough capacity in the pipeline for offshore wind to grow in line with what is needed to triple global renewable capacity by 2030.

The opportunity is there, developers and governments now need to move quickly to unlock it.

To download a copy of the Executive Summary, click here.

To sign up to a free trial of ERM’s Offshore Wind Database GRIP, click here.

Author contacts

Breanne Gellatly - Strategy and Markets Global Lead
Tugce Sahin - Market Intelligence Global Lead
Roberta Donkin - Consultant