UK funds project supporting emerging offshore wind markets

It is providing a £20m grant for the World Bank programme in co-operation with the Global Wind Energy Council

The UK is backing a World Bank programme that aims to fast-track the adoption of offshore wind energy in developing countries.

The Energy Sector Management Assistance Programme (ESMAP), supported by £20 million of funding from the UK Government, will help emerging markets assess their offshore wind potential and provide technical assistance to develop renewable projects.

With around $500 billion (£382bn) expected to be invested in offshore wind projects by 2030, the World Bank says this represents an important opportunity for countries with strong offshore wind resources, including Brazil, Indonesia, the Philippines, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Vietnam.

Vietnam’s technical potential for fixed and floating offshore wind is estimated at 309GW, while South Africa and Brazil have 356GW and 526GW in total technical offshore wind potential respectively.

The offshore wind industry has grown nearly five-fold since 2011, with 23GW installed at the end of 2018 and a large number of planned projects in Europe, China and the US.

It now represents around $26 billion (£19.8bn) in annual investments – or 8% of new global investments in clean energy, according to the World Bank.

It will be working in co-operation with the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) and its recently-formed Offshore Wind Task Force, which brings together leading offshore wind developers, equipment manufacturers and service providers.

The programme will help lay the groundwork for a pipeline of new projects in emerging countries that could be supported by the financing.

UK Energy & Clean Growth Minister Claire Perry said: “The UK is a world leader in offshore wind, with the largest installed capacity in Europe.

“This investment will allow our world-leading expertise to be shared globally to encourage developing countries to move away from dirty coal power and embrace renewable energy, growing their economies.”

Ms Perry launched the UK’s new Offshore Wind Sector Deal this week, which sets out an ambitious target to more than double the number of women working in the offshore wind energy industry and ensure it provides a third of the nation’s electricity by 2030.

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