The alliance has been initiated by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), Denmark, and the Global Wind Energy Council, and will bring together governments, the private sector, international organisations and other stakeholders to accelerate the deployment of offshore wind power. The countries joining GOWA have agreed to work together to drive national, regional, and global ambitions and remove barriers to the deployment of offshore wind in new and existing markets.
Offshore wind can be deployed at large scale, in short timeframes, and at competitive cost – it is a fast and viable route to closing the growing gap between renewable energy targets and current rates of implementation.
Both the IRENA and the International Energy Agency (IEA) expect that offshore wind capacity will need to exceed 2000 GW in 2050, from just over 60 GW today, in order to limit global temperature rises to 1.5°C and achieve net zero. To reach this target, GOWA will aim to contribute to accelerating growth to reach a total of at least 380 GW installed capacity by the end of 2030.
Tinne Van der Straeten, Belgian Energy Minister, said: “Belgium has been one of the frontrunners in offshore wind and is accelerating the energy transition with a quadrupling of offshore wind capacity by 2040 in the Belgian North Sea, build a hybrid energy island and new interconnections with North Sea countries. The North Sea will transform to a large sustainable power plant. With this green acceleration, we can replace gas and oil faster with offshore wind and green hydrogen. That way we will strengthen energy independence, lower the bills for households and industry and reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The launch of this alliance is an exquisite opportunity to export Belgian knowledge and expertise in this area to other regions in the world, with a view to accelerating the energy transition and limit global warming to 1.5°C.”
Irene Velez Torres, Energy Minister Colombia, added: “The GOWA is aligned with our priorities and with our addition we would like to announce that Colombia is today a global power of life and is committed not only to the energy transition but also to the transformation of the society through the incorporation of non-conventional sources of renewable energy into our energy matrix.”
Tomas Anker Christensen, Climate Ambassador of Denmark, stated: “Offshore wind is central to achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement and phasing out fossil-based energy. With the engagement of policy-makers, international organisations and actors from the entire value chain, the GOWA is here to create political momentum and drive action on the ground by sharing best practices to ensure an effective, cost-efficient and just power transition to offshore wind.”
Jennifer Lee Morgan, State Secretary and Special Envoy for International Climate Action of the German Government, added: “With currently around 8 GW installed capacity, Germany is the third biggest offshore wind powerhouse globally. With our ambitious energy transition plans, we intend to boost offshore wind power generation capacity in Germany to at least 30 GW by 2030 and 70 GW by 2045. Next to the obvious climate crisis, the current energy security crisis is yet another reason for us to double down on our efforts in order to boost offshore wind power in Germany. With GOWA, a fabulous alliance founded by trusted partners such as GWEC, IRENA, and Denmark, we now see an opportunity to leverage our know-how and skills in the offshore space and help other countries in building or increasing their own offshore wind power generation capacity.”
Francesco la Camera, Director General, International Renewable Energy Agency, continued: “Offshore wind represents a unique opportunity for countries to add huge volumes of new zero-carbon power generation, increase their climate ambition and ratchet up their NDCs. Offshore wind is more than competitive with fossil fuel generation, and can also provide a massive boost to investment and job creation.”
Ben Backwell, CEO, Global Wind Energy Council, said: “There is a large and growing gap between what is needed to reach our climate targets and what is actually happening in terms of implementation. Offshore wind is the most practical, available technology available for many countries to close this gap. But the situation is not hopeless. GWEC estimates that current announced government targets for offshore wind would take installed capacity to 370 GW – close to the 380 GW target – by end 2030. But we are going to have to all give our best efforts and work together if we are going to turn these targets into reality.”
Jonathan Cole, CEO of global specialist offshore wind developer, Corio Generation, commented: “Thanks to astonishing technological innovation and dramatic cost reductions over the past decade, offshore wind is not only viable, it is a compelling source of clean, reliable and affordable energy for most countries with a coastline. The GOWA is a hugely welcome initiative that can help decision-makers share lessons learned on what works, and what doesn’t, when trying to incubate, incentivise and industrialise a domestic offshore wind sector.”
Mads Nipper, CEO of Ørsted, concluded: “Offshore wind power has the scale to accelerate the build-out of renewables and bring benefits to both our planet, our economy, and local communities – while enhancing energy security. But we have to get more countries on board, and we have to speed up. Today, it often takes longer to permit a wind farm than to actually build it. At Ørsted, we’re looking forward to leveraging our industry-leading experience – from building the world’s first and largest offshore wind farms – to help governments realise the full potential of offshore wind and build renewable energy right, now.”