A new study has identified 54 markets globally, including eight in Asia-Pacific, that show huge potential for floating offshore wind (FOW) development.
According to the report, Floating Offshore Wind International Market Opportunities, developed by ORE Catapult's Floating Offshore Wind Centre of Excellence in collaboration with Offshore Wind Consultants, FOW can play a significant role in helping countries achieve their net-zero targets, with emerging players such as China and India potentially sharing in the 250 gigawatts of projected generation capacity by 2050.
The analysis identifies 22 markets with opportunities for near-term development (2022-2035) and 32 markets for the longer term (2035-2050). The near-term markets are led by the United Kingdom (with a score of 92.3) and eight of them are in Asia-Pacific, including Japan (92.3), South Korea (88), Taiwan (87.6), China (77.9), Vietnam (68.1), the Philippines (65). Australia (58.3), and India (49.9).
Each market was assessed using weighted criteria spanning technical and policy drivers, commercial investment landscape, and market facilitators. These factors were scored to evaluate the “readiness” of that market for FOW and the speed of market development.
In the near term, growth of FOW will be established in a handful of markets where demonstration projects have been deployed and a first wave of pre-commercial and commercial projects have secured site control. In Asia, South Korea and Japan are seeking to deploy commercial-scale projects within this decade.
China currently accounts for 40% of the world’s total offshore wind capability with a total of 19.7GW of installed capacity (2021). The size of China’s FOW market is expected to exceed 100GW by 2050.
Its offshore wind capacity is growing and its first floating offshore wind turbine is located off the coast of Guangdong. The country is working on developing, manufacturing, and installing its own FOW technology.
In the Philippines, three areas of interest have been identified for FOW, including one near the capital Manila. The Philippines could install up to 21GW of offshore wind power by 2040, 17GW of which will be from FOW.
With its lengthy coastline and wind resources, Vietnam has great potential for offshore wind development. It currently aims to have 54GW of offshore wind capacity by 2045 and has set ideal sites for FOW development. The country is in the process of completing approval of amendments to its energy plan, Power Development Plan 8, to reach the goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.
In Australia, although the country has yet to announce official FOW targets, it currently has several offshore wind projects in the early development stages, including plans to develop three major offshore wind projects. Two of the developments will be FOW, one near Newcastle, New South Wales, which will have a capacity of 1.4GW, and a second south of Sydney off Wollongong, NSW, with a capacity of 1.6GW.