Market Analysis

The Rising Tide of Offshore Wind

May 19, 2020

A series on emerging energy trends and opportunities from IFC

The Rising Tide of Offshore Wind

Climate change is already having a visible impact on our planet, evidenced by shrinking polar ice caps, rising sea levels, warmer global temperatures, and more frequent and violent weather. These developments also have economic consequences: Climate change could torpedo progress towards the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. Governments have set a target to keep global temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels by the end of the century and have submitted national strategies to achieve this goal.

This will require dramatically shifting away from coal and fossil-based power in many regions by 2050. Besides climate, other factors—including energy security, the dependency on fossil fuel imports, local air pollution, and the need to create jobs—are also driving the move to other sources of electricity.

But what could take its place? Whatever it is must be clean and meet four key criteria:

  • It has to be scalable
  • It has to be affordable
  • It has to be where you need it most
  • And it needs to have a positive economic impact

Offshore wind—harvested by turbines anchored in the ocean—fits the bill. Here’s how.