Event summary - Economic Opportunities from Offshore Wind Power: Supply Chain Development in Europe and Australia

29 November 2021

In the coming decade, the Global Wind Energy Council expects the global market share of installed offshore wind capacity in the Asia Pacific to grow to 42 per cent. The top five markets in the region in new installations to be Taiwan (10.5GW), South Korea (7.9GW), Japan (7.4GW) and Vietnam (5.2GW), and the People’s Republic of China with 52GW. Australia is now joining this group with the passing of framework legislation at the federal level designed to support the development of offshore wind power.

The development of an offshore wind power in Australia introduces key questions about how the industry is going to develop regionally. Wood Mackenzie estimates the supply chain for offshore turbines will represent more than US$200 billion globally in the next decade. In the Asia Pacific there is scope for the localisation of segments of the supply chain, and the supply of components regionally within Asian markets.

On 29 November the Institute for Climate Energy and Disaster Solutions (ICEDS) at the Australian National University held a seminar on Economic Opportunities from Offshore Wind Power – Supply Chain Development in Europe and Australia. Seminar participants heard from Iván Pineda, Director for Public Affairs for WindEurope about the European market experience with supply chain development in offshore wind power, and from Andy Evans, CEO of Oceanex and an early leader in Australia’s nascent offshore wind industry, about what Australia can do to take advantage of the opportunities that offshore wind power presents.

Iván emphasised the breadth and depth of European supply chains that have developed in support of the deployment of the offshore wind. A key message was the ability of offshore wind to achieve rapid reductions in cost, with a fall of 75 percent in auction prices between 2014 and 2019. Iván noted each offshore wind as a whole provides 7.5 billion Euros in value to the European economy.

In order to grow the industry Mr. Pineda offered seven lessons for Australia, including the importance of providing certainty to industry by building offshore wind into energy planning, establishing a clear regulatory framework, and supporting supply chain development, ports infrastructure, and innovation. He also emphasised that skills development is a key area the industry needs to focus on, and that while there are skills available in the oil and gas sectors that can be readily transferred into offshore wind, there are also opportunities for retraining, and for workforce diversification.

In his remarks Andy Evans spoke about Oceanex’s work, arguing that Australia has an opportunity to be a lead market for floating offshore technology platforms in particular. He also noted that Australia is well positioned to take advantage of existing supply chains in steel, design and development, installation, and support services.

Presentation slides from webinar

Offshore Wind: Establishing a European supply chain and lessons learned - Iván Pineda, Director of Public Affairs, WindEurope

Economic Opportunities from Offshore Wind Power: Australia and Regional Supply Chain Development - Andy Evans, CEO of Oceanex

Webinar recording

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The seminar was supported by the Strategic Partnerships for the Implementation of the Paris Agreement (SPIPA), commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, and co-funded by the European Union, and the opinions expressed are the sole responsibility of the speakers.