Report Forecasts 70 GW of Floating Wind Capacity by 2040

The Carbon Trust has released the latest summary findings from the Floating Wind JIP, forecasting 70 GW of floating wind capacity by 2040.

The Carbon Trust has released the latest summary findings from the Floating Wind Joint Industry Project (JIP). The Floating Wind Joint Industry Project – Phase II summary report, outlines floating wind technology challenges prioritised by developers to accelerate the commercialisation of floating wind. It also forecasts that 70 GW of floating wind capacity will be installed globally by 2040.

The findings summarise the work undertaken as part of Phase II of the Floating Wind JIP, across four main themes: turbine requirements and foundations scaling, heavy lift offshore operations, dynamic export cables and monitoring and inspection.

Floating wind is an emerging but growing renewable energy sector. The technology enables offshore wind turbine installation in deeper waters not suitable for bottom-fixed turbines, unlocking new areas for renewable energy generation. Pilot and demonstration projects have shown the potential for similar, or even higher yields from floating turbines compared to bottom-fixed projects, as they can be situated in locations with higher wind resource. However, technology development challenges to commercialisation remain.

Phase II projects addressed some of these, with key findings below.

Next-generation turbines only need minor modifications for floating 

A study on turbine requirements and foundations scaling, delivered by Ramboll, looked at the potential impacts of installing larger, next generation turbines on floating substructures. Aside from turbine towers and controllers, it found that only minor modifications would likely be needed for future turbines and that the required relative primary steel, secondary steel and mooring mass decreases for larger turbines.

New vessels or alternative lifting solutions needed for floating offshore heavy lift operations 

A heavy lift offshore operations study undertaken by Seaway 7 investigated the challenges associated with floating heavy lift offshore construction and maintenance operations for turbines up to 20 MW. It found that the limited availability and high cost of suitable floating heavy lift vessels in the market at present is a barrier to cost effectively undertaking operations offshore. There is a need for vessels capable of undertaking the required heavy lift operations or alternative lifting solutions, such as climbing crane technology.

Dynamic export cable products for floating farms in development

This project, delivered by BPP Cable Solutions, investigated the challenges and assisted in the development of high voltage dynamic export cables required to transport power from floating offshore wind farms. Previous JIP studies have highlighted a lack of suitable dynamic cables currently available on the market. A competition was launched to support cable manufacturers develop and test suitable designs. Five cable manufacturers are currently being supported by the JIP to make these available as products for future projects.

No ‘quick win’ solutions for floating monitoring and inspection

A study focused on monitoring and inspection undertaken by Oceaneering, looked at the techniques for assessing the integrity of floating wind farms. It concluded that improvement is needed in both the collection of data and its usage to inform and manage asset integrity for floating wind farms, and in particular for subsea assets. For this, there were no ‘quick win’ solutions, but techniques such as a digital twin approach, or unmanned vessels, could support cost-effective solutions.

These studies follow on from Phase I of the JIP’s work which started with a focus on electrical systems, mooring systems, and logistics for construction and operation for floating wind.

Dan Kyle Spearman, manager of the Floating Wind JIP, the Carbon Trust, said this report marks the culmination of over a years’ work through the Floating Wind JIP and it is clear that floating wind offers technology and supply chain investment opportunities.

“We expect that it will become a key sector for low carbon power generation and economic growth in geographies where deeper waters do not allow for bottom-fixed offshore wind turbines. The time is now for the floating wind industry to look to pre-commercial and commercial projects to deliver the cost reduction necessary for the sector to compete with other renewable energy options.”

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Ayush Verma

Ayush is a staff writer at and writes on renewable energy with a special focus on solar and wind. Prior to this, as an engineering graduate trying to find his niche in the energy journalism segment, he worked as a correspondent for