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Offshore wind power can meet world’s electricity demand, says IEA

By Hazel Davis

Oil and gas companies have huge chance to capitalise on their expertise

The International Energy Agency (IEA) claims that offshore wind power has the potential to meet the entire world’s electricity demand.

The Offshore Wind Outlook 2019 report predicts that global offshore wind capacity could increase fifteen-fold and attract around $1tr (£0.8tr, €0.9tr) of cumulative investment by 2040.

Offshore wind capacity in the European Union stands at almost 20 gigawatts, set to rise to nearly 130 gigawatts (GW) by 2040.

The IEA says that if the EU reaches its carbon-neutrality aims, this capacity could jump to around 180GW and become the region’s largest single source of electricity.

The report outlines the huge business opportunities for oil and gas sector companies to capitalise on their offshore expertise. It suggests a market opportunity of $400bn or more in Europe and China over the next 20 years.

“In the past decade, two major areas of technological innovation have been game-changers in the energy system by substantially driving down costs: the shale revolution and the rise of solar PV,” said Dr Fatih Birol, the IEA’s executive director.

“Offshore wind has the potential to join their ranks in terms of steep cost reduction.”

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