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World - Oil companies involved in 30% of offshore wind FIDs in 2020

The extent of oil companies’ fast-growing involvement in the offshore wind energy industry is laid bare in analysis of the market by Wood Mackenzie

September 19, 2018

Introducing a 16 March 2021 webinar, Big Oil’s impact on the transformation of offshore wind, Wood Mackenzie vice president corporate research Valentina Kretzschmar said the company’s analysis clearly demonstrates that ‘Big Oil’ is becoming ‘Big Energy’ as more oil companies become involved in the renewables sector and in offshore wind in particular.

An analysis presented by Wood Mackenzie head of offshore wind research Soren Lassen indicated that oil companies accounted for 30% of the record 8.7 GW of offshore wind final investment decisions (FIDs) in 2020.

“The FIDs in 2020 clearly show the impact the majors are having in the offshore wind sector,” Mr Lassen said. “They are clearly here to stay too. The majors also won half of the tenders for offshore wind projects in 2019-2020.

“And it’s not just a small number of oil majors who are involved. In addition to Equinor and Shell, Total, BP and Eni are all now also involved and are forming alliances, agreeing joint ventures and signing MoUs in the offshore wind space, working collaboratively to help them enter new markets.”

As Mr Lassen noted, European oil companies’ pipeline is not just growing either, it is also maturing, with projects at different stages. It is also diversifying across geographies and technologies, and the ‘Euro Majors’ are already pushing into the floating wind market.

Ms Kretzschmar said oil companies have also set significant capacity targets for renewables. “Renewables will undoubtedly be a big growth areas for oil companies,” she said. Analysis by Wood Mackenzie indicates that the Euro Majors, excluding Shell, which has not announced a target, have a target for renewables – including solar and onshore wind – of 125 GW by 2030. That is six times their present offshore wind pipeline exposure. If they maintain their recent market share of 30% in new projects, then that would give them 60 GW, based on forecasts for installed offshore wind capacity in 2029 of 200 GW.

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