Renewable energy expanded at its fastest rate ever (152 GW) in 2015, with global capacity reaching 1985 GW. That represents an 8% increase from the year before. Nineteen countries contributed by installing over 1 GW of renewable energy capacity. In addition, last year saw global investment in renewables rise to a new high of $329 billion, up 3% from the previous record set in 2011.
Even though wind power accounts for 22% of all renewable capacity, just 3% comes from offshore wind power. Although wind energy can be produced either off- or on-shore, the offshore wind industry holds more promise when we consider power generation capacity. Greater potential project sizes and higher wind speeds at offshore wind energy projects generate more energy and are therefore gaining popularity across nations. Visual pollution, coupled with intolerable noise generated by onshore turbines, have also contributed to the increasing preference for offshore projects.
Deeply rooted in Europe for the last 25 years, offshore wind power generation is just now starting to gain momentum elsewhere. During 2015, we saw offshore wind experience a 28% (3.4 GW) increase in capacity, double that of its onshore counterpart.