In a recently released report, the International Energy Agency (IEA) indicated that offshore wind could generate eleven times more electricity than is needed globally. The agency also indicated that the offshore wind industry could attract $1 trillion in investment by 2040.
In the report, the IEA’s executive director, Fatih Birol stated that while offshore wind only currently produces .3% of global power, that “its potential is near limitless.”
The Agency also indicated that offshore wind could generate a mind-boggling 420,000 terawatts of electricity globally.
The IEA report stated that supportive government policies would be necessary to harness new technologies and approaches, and “Government policies will continue to play a critical role in the future of offshore wind and the overall pace of clean energy transitions around the world.”
The agency predicted that China would likely have the world’s largest offshore wind capability by 2025, undertaking the current leader, the United Kingdom. The IEA indicated that China’s offshore wind capacity would increase from 4 gigawatts now to 110 gigawatts by 2040.
Jeffrey Friedland's Conclusions
The IEA report should be a wake-up call to governments, power producers, and renewable energy advocates. Prior to this report, the agency was lukewarm on the prospects for renewable energy and in a 2000 report, indicated that non-hydrocarbon renewable energy would only produce around 3% of world energy by 2020.