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Over 200 policymakers from 24 countries with wind energy ambitions joined an Offshore Wind Virtual Study Tour.

The first of its kind virtual gathering was organised by the World Bank Group and the Global Wind Energy Council and was designed to spotlight the next generation of offshore wind markets. The tour was funded by the Energy Sector Management Assistance Programme (ESMAP).

Policymakers from non-OECD markets in Asia, Europe, Africa, and Latin America connected with government officials and industry leaders from the mature offshore wind markets of Europe and more nascent ones in Taiwan and the US, who shared their experience and expertise to transfer knowledge to these next-generation markets.

Together, the country delegations attending the event account for over 7000 GW of technical offshore wind potential, which would be enough power to supply more than one-third of the world’s electricity demand by 2050.

The three-day event included masterclasses on key topics for building an offshore wind market, virtual tours of offshore wind facilities in Europe and Asia, as well as live sessions with leading industry experts to educate policymakers on how to unlock their offshore wind potential.

The Offshore Wind Virtual Study Tour is part of the World Bank Group’s Offshore Wind Development Programme which was launched in March 2019.

The programme is designed to support governments in WBG client countries to establish offshore wind sectors and accelerate the uptake of the technology.

Vietnam, Turkey and Sri Lanka are some of the first countries to be supported by the Programme and are paving the way for other emerging markets on the cusp of investing in offshore wind as a key source of future energy generation.

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Nearly 50 organisations from across the world including major OEMs, project developers, grid operators, financiers, consultants, vessel owners and port operators, participated to share their knowledge and experiences with government officials from the most promising emerging offshore wind markets. This knowledge sharing helped educate policymakers on best practices and experiences in building an offshore wind market.

Sean Whittaker, principal renewable energy specialist at the IFC, and the Programme’s co-lead, commented: “This unprecedented event has served to accelerate our engagement with the next generation of offshore wind markets, and is an important step in taking offshore wind global.

“We are progressing country roadmaps with governments in Vietnam, Sri Lanka and Turkey, and we expect this work to have a significant demonstration effect across emerging markets, signalling that investment in offshore wind today is a viable and strategic commitment to securing a clean, affordable energy future for a country.”

Mark Leybourne, senior energy specialist at ESMAP, and the Programme’s other co-lead, remarked: “Gathering our client country governments from these potential future offshore wind markets has allowed us to share valuable experiences from established offshore wind markets.

“Delegates have had the opportunity to meet with officials from other country governments and share their experiences of developing offshore wind.

“This study tour has helped raise the profile of our Programme within our client governments and has contributed to the growing body of knowledge we can use to support them.”

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Ben Backwell, CEO of the Global Wind Energy Council, said: “If we are to reach offshore wind capacity of 1400 GWs by 2050 to help the world meet its carbon emissions reduction requirements and achieve a global green economic recovery, we are going to have to work together.

“Just as Europe has worked together to create a vibrant offshore wind community around the North Sea, Africa, Asia, Latin America need to create common frameworks and objectives to gain maximum benefits from offshore wind. This event was an important first step in building bridges across countries and regions to transfer knowledge and experience as we look to take offshore wind global.”

The event highlighted the technical potential of offshore wind in the countries:

  • Azerbaijan 157GW
  • India 195GW
  • Pakistan 21GW
  • Papua New Guinea 163GW
  • Fiji 193GW
  • Indonesia 285GW
  • Philippines 178GW
  • South Africa 646GW
  • Kenya 43GW
  • Sri Lanka 92GW
  • Turkey 69GW
  • Vietnam 475GW
  • Argentina 1870GW
  • Brazil 1228GW
  • Colombia 109GW
  • Costa Rica 17GW
  • Nicaragua 60GW
  • Egypt 236GW
  • Morocco 200GW
  • Algeria 18GW
  • Tunisia 258GW
  • Poland 116GW
  • Romania 76GW
  • Uruguay 275GW