Energy from the Sea: An Action Agenda for Deploying Offshore Renewables Worldwide


Offshore renewable energy - including offshore wind energy (fixed and floating foundations), ocean energy (wave, tidal, ocean thermal energy conversion, salinity gradient) and floating PV technologies – represents a still largely untapped potential for renewables and can significantly contribute to the energy transition and a global blue economy.

The 2021 Italian Presidency of the G20 and IRENA co-organised the Collateral Event to the G20 Energy Working Group, “Energy from the sea: an action agenda for deploying offshore renewables worldwide”. The event provided input into a Global Action Agenda for Offshore Renewable energy supported by G20 countries.

The event presented the status and outlook of offshore renewable energy technologies and markets, the latest trends and developments from the incumbent industry and private sector. During the event an experts’ panel discussion, moderated by the G20 Presidency, discussed and elaborated on the good practices on policy instruments able to support the scale up of offshore renewables at global level.  During the event, it was acknowledged the importance of international collaboration fostered by G20 countries and the role of IRENA’s Collaborative Framework on Ocean Energy/Offshore Renewables as a platform for active collaboration on the topic.

Offshore wind

By the end of 2020, the installed offshore wind capacity is more than 34 GW, which represents an increase of 6 GW of new installations from 2019 and around 11 folds increase from 2010 with nearly 3 GW installed capacity. Europe represents 90% of installed capacity but the fastest growth is observed in China (3 GW installed in 2020). IRENA foresees a promising outlook growing to around 380 GW in 2030.

Ocean energy

Cumulative global installed ocean energy capacity is around 535 MW, the main installations being located in the Republic of Korea, France and Canada. Major projects are currently being implemented in the UK (the world’s largest tidal stream turbine with a capacity of 2 MW went operational in Scotland) and in Canada (the first floating tidal energy array of 9 MW in Nova Scotia). IRENA has identified a project pipeline across the globe adding up to close 4 GW of planned additional installed capacity.

Floating PV

The installed floating solar PV capacity was around 2.6 GW in 2020 from active projects in more than 35 countries globally. The installed capacity has more than doubled since 2018 from 1.1 GW installed capacity by then. The largest plant globally is located in China with 150 MW. The future demand for floating solar PV is expected to be driven by Asian countries, like China, Indonesia, India, the Republic of Korea, Thailand and Viet Nam.

G20 Countries are in a leading position regarding the development of renewable energy as they collectively account for 81% of renewable installed capacity and 75% of deployment potential for the 2010 – 2030 period. In the offshore renewables field, they account for 99.3% of offshore wind and 100% of ocean energy installed capacities. As the fight against climate change is global, G20 countries have the responsibility to use this leading position to enable the deployment of these technologies in non-G20 countries by sharing their experience and lessons learnt within dedicated collective instances and platforms such as the IRENA’s Collaborative Framework on Ocean Energy/ Offshore Renewables.




Introduction and Welcome

  • Gilberto Dialuce - Senior Adviser of the Minister of Ecological Transition, Ministry of Economic Development {G20 Presidency representative}
  • Roland Roesch, Deputy-Director, IRENA Innovation and Technology Centre

Latest Policy Developments and Innovations in Offshore Renewables

  • Status and Outlook in Offshore Renewables Innovations and Markets – Francisco Boshell, Analyst, RE Technology Standards and Markets, IRENA Innovation and Technology Centre
  • EU Strategy on offshore renewable energy for a climate neutral future – Ruud Kempener, Policy Officer, European Commission

Panel discussion & country interventions

Panel: What are the priorities for an international action agenda to accelerate the deployment of offshore renewables globally?


  • HE Nicola Lener - Ambassador of Italy to the United Arab Emirates and Permanent Representative to IRENA


  • Steve L. Sanford, Manager of Marine Renewable Energy and Clean Growth, Nova Scotia Department of Energy and Mines, Canada
  • Xia Ting, Deputy Director of International Cooperation Department, China Renewable Energy Engineering Institute, China
  • Yudo Priyaadi, Senior Adviser to the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, Indonesia
  • Karel Tujeehut, Coordinator of the Energy Bureau of the Ministry of Economic Development of Curaçao, Overseas Countries and Territories Association
  • Ben Backwell, CEO, Global Wind Energy Council
  • Donagh Cagney, Policy Director, Ocean Energy Europe

Country interventions

Summary from Panel

  • Dolf Gielen, Director, IRENA Innovation and Technology Centre

Conclusion remarks – G20 support to Offshore Renewables

  • Gilberto Dialuce, Senior Adviser of the Minister of Ecological Transition, Ministry of Economic Development {G20 Presidency representative}