When will China take Number One spot in offshore wind?

Research and analysis by FloatWind shows a surprising result for which country will have the highest installed capacity at the end of 2021.

China was originally predicted to overtake the UK as number one in offshore wind in 2020, however due to supply chain issues in the Chinese offshore wind market and a more steady mature supply chain in the UK, the UK manage to hold onto the Number One spot, but only just.

At the end of 2020 only 530MW separated the UK at no. 1 from China at no. 2.

China had been predicted to install 4GW last year, instead of the actual 3GW installed. In 2021 China is predicted to install 5GW but the question is will they undershoot or overshoot this?

Analysis by FloatWind predicts that if the same shortfall is seen in China this year, then actually China will not surpass the UK, until early 2022.

If China manages to install at the fastest rate possible then it will take the crown in the first week of April 2021.

In almost all conceivable scenarios China will certainly have the Top Spot at some point in 2022.

Whilst this all may seem to be splitting hairs in a strange kind of way it speaks to the pride & enthusiasm seen in various markets.

That the UK can hold on to its prized position in this market for the rest of 2021 & into 2022 will provide a much needed a boost to the UK government.

FloatWind however believes that the UK can do better, by joining the dots and by coordinating policy better. If the government in the UK makes a number of relatively modest tweaks to policy at very little or no additional cost to the taxpayer/billpayer it can retain it’s prized number 1 spot.

More regular CFD auctions, better coordination between Crown Estates for leasing & BIES for permitting, better joining up of dots could have delivered a more robust pipeline for investors.

If the UK has lost its no. 1 position either in 2021 or 2022, it is difficult to see when it will ever be able to recover this position.

What do you think?

Robert Speht is CEO and Co-Founder at FloatWind


The data;

China at the end of 2020: 9,898MW. Planned in 2020: 4,000MW. Delivered in 2020: 3,000MW. Planned installations for 2021: 5,000MW. Likely cumulative installed by end of 2021 following current trend: 13,648MW.

UK at the end of 2020: 10,428MW. Planned in 2020: 483MW. Delivered in 2020: 483MW. Planned installations for 2021: 3,257MW. Likely cumulative installed by end of 2021 following current trend: 13,685MW.

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