Nine countries including the UK have joined an organisation pledging to ramp up offshore wind production to tackle the energy and climate crisis.
Belgium, Colombia, Germany, Ireland, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, the UK, and the US have joined the Global Offshore Wind Alliance (GOWA) at Cop27, to work together to remove barriers to the development of offshore wind.
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, and international organisations to accelerate the deployment of offshore wind power, GOWA claims.
Tinne Van der Straeten, Belgium’s 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 CO2 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 1.5C.”
Both the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the International Energy Agency (IEA) expect that offshore wind capacity will need to exceed 2000GW in 2050, from just over 60GW today, in order to limit global temperature rises to 1.5 degrees and achieve net zero.
Ben Backwell, CEO of 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 government targets for offshore wind would take installed capacity to 370GW – close to the 380GW target - by the end of 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.”