Working closely with the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), the World Bank Group has embarked on a programme to fast-track the adoption of offshore wind in developing countries.
he World Bank and International Finance Corporation (IFC) will help emerging markets assess their offshore wind potential and provide technical assistance to develop a growing pipeline of projects ready for investment by renewable energy developers.
Led by the World Bank’s Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP), in partnership with IFC, the US$5M programme is being initiated thanks to a £20M (US$26M) grant to ESMAP from the UK government to help low- and middle-income countries implement environmentally sustainable energy solutions.
This work will take place in co-operation with GWEC and its recently-formed Offshore Wind Task Force which brings together leading offshore wind developers, equipment manufacturers and service providers. As part of their co-operation, World Bank Group and GWEC will organise a series of workshops to discuss the potential of offshore wind in new and emerging markets and to facilitate knowledge sharing and the diffusion of best practices. As part of their co-operation, a World Bank Group representative will sit on the GWEC Offshore Wind Task Force and contribute to the activities of that group. A GWEC representative will also sit on an advisory committee to be set up by the World Bank.
The programme will convene developing country governments, commercial developers, development partners, and wind energy experts to raise awareness around offshore wind opportunities in emerging markets and lay the groundwork for a pipeline of new projects that could be supported by World Bank or IFC financing.
The World Bank and IFC will work with public and private sector partners to undertake technical studies and develop national strategies to facilitate the adoption of this technology.
The Global Wind Atlas, developed in partnership by ESMAP and Department of Wind Energy at the Technical University of Denmark, is a key resource that can help policymakers and investors identify potential high-wind areas for wind power generation virtually anywhere in the world.
World Bank senior director and head of energy and extractives Riccardo Puliti said, “Offshore wind is a clean, reliable and secure source of energy with massive potential to transform the energy mix in countries that have great wind resources. We have seen it work in Europe – we can now make use of global experience to scale up offshore wind projects in emerging markets.
IFC director and global head of energy and mining Bertrand de la Borde, said, “We see great opportunity for offshore wind development at scale and are looking forward to working with private sector developers to open up new investment opportunities in countries that could benefit from this increasingly competitive source of renewable energy.”
GWEC chief executive Ben Backwell said, “Offshore wind has already made significant strides in markets such as Europe and China, but its true potential reaches far beyond these established areas. GWEC’s Offshore Wind Taskforce was established to help an increasing number of countries provide large-scale, competitive clean power from offshore wind that can help them meet their climate commitments and their sustainable development objectives. The co-operation with the World Bank Group is a significant step forward in this journey. Through knowledge-sharing and partnership, we can better achieve our shared vision for development through sustainable energy.”
The offshore wind industry has grown nearly five-fold since 2011, with 23 GW installed at the end of 2018 and a large volume of planned projects in Europe, China and the US. Offshore wind now represents about US$26Bn in annual investments – or 8% of new global investments in clean energy – and this proportion is set to increase dramatically, with about US$500Bn expected to be invested in offshore wind projects by 2030.
This represents an important opportunity for countries with strong offshore wind resources, including Brazil, Indonesia, India, the Philippines, South Africa, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam. Offshore wind can also provide additional clean generation capacity for developing countries with populations living without access to reliable electricity.
Vietnam’s technical potential for fixed and floating offshore wind is 309 GW, while South Africa and Brazil have 356 GW and 526 GW in total technical offshore wind potential respectively. This represents a significant opportunity for cost-competitive, large-scale fixed or floating offshore wind projects located close to areas of high energy demand.