LEVERAGING OFFSHORE WIND TO DECARBONIZE EAST ASIA - Offshore wind is an incredibly promising decarbonization technology that nevertheless faces significant hurdles to adoption, especially outside of relatively mature markets, such as the North Sea. Offshore wind typically enjoys the highest capacity factor of all renewables resources, outside of water-constrained hydropower. Moreover, its generation profile is often anticorrelated with other renewables resources, such as solar, improving prospects for grid decarbonization. Finally, offshore wind is often the only viable renewables resource that can generate at-scale – including in land-constrained regions such as East Asia that also suffer from relatively unfavorable onshore solar and wind economics.
The global offshore wind market is still in its early stages. According to the Global Wind Energy Council’s latest Global Wind Report, there were over 64 Gigawatts of deployed offshore wind capacity deployments at the end of 2022, with nearly all turbines constructed in either Europe or mainland China. East Asian economies, including not only mainland China but also Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and more, have ambitious offshore wind capacity deployment objectives.
The world needs these efforts to be successful. The IEA’s Net Zero Scenario holds that total onshore and offshore wind capacity must grow from 830 Gigawatts in 2021 to 3,106 Gigawatts by 2030. If East Asia’s offshore wind capacity can rise in line with Net Zero targets, the region’s cities will become cleaner, while the world will benefit from lower carbon emissions.
ORIGINAL AIRDATE: 8/7/23