Offshore Wind’s Risk Exposure
Thanks to its low cost, low carbon and high reliability, offshore wind is looking at a future where it is one of the world’s main energy sources. The Global Wind Energy Council is forecasting growth of 300GW of offshore wind by 2030, 8x total installed capacity in 2020.
However, this rapid scale up could be at risk if sufficient and affordable rare earth supplies are not available in time. The offshore wind industry faces clear and quantifiable risks, which is disproportionate due to a rapidly increasing demand for a critical and supply constrained material. There are clear critical risks around rare earth supply, price spikes and perhaps most critically the sector’s deserved reputation as a sustainability champion.
While other sectors like defence and automotive are taking remedial action, the offshore wind industry has not yet presented a credible action plan.
Meeting the 1,400GW target by 2050
Between 2020 and 2050, global offshore wind is forecast to increase by a factor of 48 times. On average we will need to install 46GW a year between 2020 and 2050 to hit the 1,400GW target.
That means our average installation rate over the next 30 years needs to be over 30x higher than over the last 20 years. Although offshore wind has proven that it can deliver low cost, low carbon power, it is a nascent industry and scaling at a rapid rate will through down many challenges. Perhaps the most difficult of all to address will be securing affordable long-term rare earth magnet supplies to support an aggressive growth target of 1,400GW by 2050.
Our objective is to work with a network of international partners to co-develop our generator to deliver a commercially viable and environmentally friendly solution for the offshore wind sector.