Europe needs 230GW offshore by 2045 to hit Paris goals: Ecofys

Europe would need a 2045 offshore wind capacity target of about 230GW to be in line with the Paris agreement goal of limiting temperature increase to 1.5°C by reaching a CO2-neutral electricity supply, the Ecofys consultancy says.

The estimate is the result of joint research by the energy team of Ecofys and its parent consultancy Navigant.

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The energy experts in several scenario studies came to the conclusion that in order to reach a Paris-compatible electricity generation level, onshore renewable sources such as wind, solar, bio-energy, hydro and residual nuclear could provide up to 55% of the necessary capacity for 2045, while offshore would need to meet the remaining 45%.

That translates into 180GW from the North Sea, and another 50GW from the Baltic and Irish Seas, and the Atlantic.

With 13GW installed currently, however, the region is far from the required total, Ecofys says.

To realise the growth in capacity needed, the offshore wind installation rate would have to triple from the current 3GW/year to approximately 10 GW/year in 2030, the energy experts reckon.

Europe’s offshore wind industry recently has said that it could deliver 60GW of new capacity by 2030 if at least 4GW a year will be added, but urged  a faster build-up of 6-7GW to continue pushing down the cost of electricity from wind at sea.