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Asia takes top spot in offshore wind growth – report

Falling costs boosted growth in offshore wind globally in 2020, with Asia-Pacific moving ahead of the rest of the world, reports market intelligence company the Renewables Consulting Group.

The development of more than 200GW of offshore wind projects began between the beginning of 2020 and June 2021, accounting for over 44% of all global offshore wind capacity at pre-construction or early development phase, says market intelligence company the Renewables Consulting Group in a new report.

Fishermen working near the Bac Lieu wind power plant in Vietnam. (Photo by Duy Khoi/AFP via Getty Images)

Maturing technology and declining costs have inspired governments and investors to embrace offshore wind, states the report.

Within the 200GW, new projects exceeding 500MW each in capacity were announced in Brazil, Ireland, Italy, Norway, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan and Vietnam between January 2020 and early 2021.

For the first time, the Asia-Pacific market portfolio surpassed the combined region of Europe, the Middle East and Africa in project development capacity.

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The report also predicts the UK will lose its place as the world's top offshore wind developer by the end of the year; it will be overtaken by both Vietnam and China. Vietnam, with 0.099GW of existing capacity, has a development pipeline of 64.9GW. China has existing capacity of 9.898GW and 30.2GW under development. The UK, with existing capacity of 10.2GW, has a development pipeline of 29GW before 2030.

The report attributes growth in the Asia-Pacific region to new leasing rounds for offshore wind projects.