BusinessDay

Nigeria’s potential promising as investors turn to wind energy

Global spending on wind energy is projected to more than double from $46 billion in 2021 to $102 billion in 2030, a new report by Rystad Energy estimates opening up opportunities for Nigeria’s vast untapped wind potential

Analysts say installations and investments in the global offshore wind industry are set to surge this decade as nations seek to transition to cleaner sources of energy.

Nigeria has significant wind energy potential, especially in the Northern states, with a 10 megawatts (MW) wind farm in Katsina- not operating at full capacity due to issues ranging from insecurity, underinvestment, and poor maintenance.

There are great prospects for wind energy utilisation from offshore areas like Lagos through Ondo, Delta, Rivers, Bayelsa, and Akwa Ibom states to the mountainous terrains of the middle belt and northern fringes, which have demonstrated high potential for great wind energy harvest.

According to Rystad Energy, this growth is driven by a significant uptick in capacity installations in Europe, solidifying the region’s place as the global leader in the offshore wind space.

In addition, capital expenditure in Europe in 2030 is forecast to approach $53 billion, up from $15 billion last year. The Americas have been slow to enter the offshore wind market, but that looks set to change from this year onwards.
However, the region is projected to spend $3.3 billion this year, up from $700 million last year, and rise further to almost $15 billion by 2030.
Furthermore, China has been a major player in the offshore wind market to date, but the powerhouse’s investments are set to slow as we approach the 2030s.

Read also: Solar, wind power account for 29% global rise in 2021 energy demand-Report

In 2020, China invested almost $25 billion, double what Europe spent in that year, but the country’s total expenditure is forecast to gradually decline to a comparatively small $7.7 billion in 2030.

This is due to feed-in tariffs, which encouraged infrastructure investments to be phased out in 2021, along with emerging market dynamics that will result in lower costs for any new capacity additions in the region.

“The offshore wind industry is set for substantial growth this decade, with over 265 gigawatts of operational capacity expected by 2030. As the world moves towards a greener energy mix, investments in the offshore wind sector are set to soar and provide ample opportunities for suppliers to cash in,” says Anubhav Venkatesh, offshore wind analyst with Rystad Energy.

In addition, of the billions of dollars of capital expenditure that developers are lining up for projects, more than 50 percent will go towards the manufacturing and installation of turbines and foundations, the two largest financial components of an offshore wind farm. While some players were early movers and now enjoy a competitive advantage, new companies are entering the market.

However, with high ambitions for offshore wind in the US and Asia, excluding China, new offshore wind projects will emerge through to 2035 as auctions pick up in these regions, the analysts said.

According to the report, with over 26 gigawatts (GW) of operational capacity, it represents more than 50 percent of the global total. Europe is expected to have an installed base of over 57 GW by 2026 when Danish giant Orsted is expected to remain the region’s leading offshore wind developer.

Also, Over 8,500 turbines are expected to be operational in Europe by end-2026, of which almost 60 percent are likely to be Siemens Gamesa units. Rival Vestas is expected to be the second-most successful turbine manufacturer by the end 2026 of, contributing to around 20 percent of the forecast installed base.

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