The global offshore wind sector saw a huge financing surge of around £27 billion in the first half of 2020, despite the threat posed to the energy sector by the coronavirus pandemic.

Latest figures from research company BloombergNEF (BNEF) claims that offshore wind had “by far” it’s busiest business year in the first half of 2020.

It said the number of offshore wind final investment decisions more than offset declines in investment in solar, onshore wind and biomass.

The sector experienced first-half financing in 1H 2020 totaling £27 billion, up 319% year-on-year and above 2019’s record full-year figure of £25,2bn).

The first half of this year saw investment decisions made on 28 offshore wind farms, including the £3bn Seagreen Offshore Wind Farm.

Albert Cheung, head of analysis at BNEF, said: “We expected to see Covid-19 affecting renewable energy investment in the first half, via delays in the financing process and to some auction programs.

“There are signs of that in both solar and onshore wind, but the overall global figure has proved amazingly resilient – thanks to offshore wind.”

Overall investment in new renewable energy capacity hit £104bn in the first half of 2020, up 5% from a revised £99.7bn in the same period of 2019.

Onshore wind investment slipped 21% to £29.7bn, while that for solar fell 12% to £43,3bn.

Tom Harries, head of wind analysis, added: “Offshore wind is benefitting from the 67% reduction in levelized costs achieved since 2012, and to the performance of the latest, giant turbines.

“But the first half of this year also owed a lot to a rush in China to finance and build, in order to take advantage of a feed-in tariff before it expires at the end of 2021.

“I expect a slowdown in offshore wind investment globally in the second half, with potentially a new spike early next year.”

Huge £27bn offshore wind spending surge in 2020 despite Covid-19 pandemic

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