China led the way installing the most offshore wind power last year but climate experts say the world is still not doing enough.
Global installations of new offshore projects fell only slightly in 2020, reaching their second highest rate since a record in 2019 despite the coronavirus pandemic, with China building more than anyone else an industry report said on Thursday.
Many countries globally are seeking to rapidly boost their renewable power capacity as they strive to curb emissions and meet their climate targets.
Some 6.1 gigawatts (GW) of new offshore wind capacity was added last year, second only to 2019 when a record 6.2 GW of new projects were built, the report by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) said.
China installed the most capacity last year, adding more than 3 GW, followed by the Netherlands with nearly 1.5 GW and Belgium with 706 megawatts (MW).
However, the pace of new projects is still too slow if targets for net zero emissions by 2050 are to be met, the GWEC said.
“The world has so far installed only 2% of the offshore wind capacity that will be needed by the middle of this century to avoid the worst impacts of climate change,” the GWEC’s Global Offshore Wind Report 2020 said.
The International Energy Agency said earlier this year 80 GW of offshore wind will need to be added globally each year by 2030 to set the world on course for reaching net zero emissions by 2050.
Governments must ensure the right policies are in place to spur faster and increased offshore wind deployment globally, GWEC CEO Ben Backwell said.
“The offshore industry believes they can meet this challenge, but there is a clear target and policy gap that countries need to fill for the industry to deliver,” he said.
- Reuters and Sean O’Meara