Europe’s Growth Rate in Offshore Wind Must Triple to Bring Paris Goals into Reach

In an Energy Post article, Ecofys, a Navigant company, said offshore wind is essential to progress

To align with the Paris Agreement goal of limiting temperature increase to 1.5°C, Europe will need a CO2-neutral electricity supply by 2045. This target can only be met if the current wind installation rate were to triple, said Michiel Müller from Ecofys, a Navigant company, in an article for Energy Post.

Experts from Ecofys and Navigant recently investigated Europe’s renewable generation resources and found that offshore wind from the North Seas region will be pivotal for realizing a completely decarbonized electricity supply in less than 30 years.

The team determined the total available onshore generation capacity by means of several scenario studies and identified how much of the Paris-compatible electricity generation capacity can be met on land. The countries’ joint onshore generation resources (wind, solar, bio, hydro, and remaining nuclear) could provide up to 55 percent of the required capacity. This leaves 45 percent to be covered by offshore sources and translates into an offshore wind target of approximately 230 GW for the North Seas countries. 180 GW of that capacity could be generated in the North Sea, and the remaining 50 GW in other seas like the Baltic and Irish Seas and the Atlantic.

With 13 GW installed currently, however, the region is far from the required total. To realize this growth, the offshore wind installation rate would have to triple from the current 3 GW/year to approximately 10 GW/year in 2030.

Find additional insight on this topic in two related white papers that Ecofys and Navigant published earlier this year.

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