Foresight 20/20: Wind Onshore & Offshore

Wood Mackenzie's Foresight 20/20 offers a full analysis of onshore and offshore wind trends over the past decade and predictions for the 2020s.

Wind energy costs dropped allowing expanded global adoption

Ten years ago, offshore wind capacity accounted for less than 2% of accumulated global wind capacity, and less than five years ago the price gap between solar and onshore wind threatened the survival of offshore wind. However, during the last decade, the offshore wind industry has grown ten-fold from 3GW to almost 30GW in 2020. Global wind installations have tripled, while country markets achieving >100MW have expanded by 50%. 

Innovation has played an important role in the offshore wind value chain development

The main triggers that allowed a successful transition for wind energy from niche market to mainstream were competitive bidding systems; changes in the supply chain, demanding massive cost reductions in strategic component supply; evolution in wind turbine production; and reduction in costs in the aftermarket.

Offshore wind can become a major source of electricity

As offshore wind has evolved and grown at a high pace, it is possible to think that this source of electricity can replace coal, gas and nuclear energy in most of the major countries. 219GW of accumulated offshore wind targets and a diverse 314GW offshore wind portfolio offer a strong foundation for the industry to tap into this potential in the 2020s. By 2028, offshore wind will constitute 25% of total wind demand. 

Floating offshore wind will turn in to the market gamechanger

Floating offshore wind is becoming more relevant. By 2022, 350MW+ of floating demonstrators will be deployed. Floating wind is only expected to constitute a small fraction of offshore wind capacity between 2019 and 2028, because most of the offshore wind growth will be in areas suitable for bottom-fixed offshore wind. 

Nevertheless, the pace and how offshore wind will be expanded is still very unpredictable. To go global and become a mainstream source of electricity, more governments need to offer a clear and stable route to market. 

By Maria Paula Ar…