The development of offshore wind power is urgent as a necessity for the energy transition in Spain

The Spanish Wind Energy Association (AEE) has today presented the White Paper on the Offshore Wind Industry in Spain. This publication includes the main indicators of the macroeconomic impact of the development of offshore wind power, with a clear focus on the opportunity it represents for the existing wind, naval and port industry in Spain.

In Spain we have the complete value chain and the necessary infrastructures to address the development of offshore wind power on our coasts and be an international benchmark in floating offshore wind technology. We have a privileged position as the first developer of offshore wind power prototypes in the world, port infrastructures with great potential as logistics hubs and a naval industry that is already diversifying its activity towards the construction of offshore structures and support vessels for offshore wind farms. .
It is urgent to have an updated regulatory framework and concrete planning in the medium and long term, which activates in the coming months the development work of the parks that will be operational in 2029. The development work will involve jobs in engineering , studies, industrial planning, environmental consulting, provision of services from coastal communities, also generating a very significant induced employment component.
There are currently 15 offshore wind projects submitted for public consultation, a significant number that demonstrates the interest of developers, the size of the market and the potential of this sector as an engine for industrial development.

Offshore wind power in Spain is an opportunity that we have to take advantage of from a social, environmental and economic point of view. In addition, it is a country project with a clear industrial focus that can drive our value chain to make it globally competitive within the floating wind technology market, a disruptive solution in the world wind market. The White Paper on the Offshore Wind Industry in Spain is a study, prepared in collaboration with the consulting firm Deloitte, that captures the different scenarios for the development of this source of energy in the country and extracts the macroeconomic and employment impacts for our society.

Worldwide, there are already 57 GW of installed wind power. However, in Spain, despite the technological leadership in the wind and naval industry, we currently do not have offshore wind power. The Offshore Wind and Sea Energy Roadmap in Spain, published in December 2021 by the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge, indicates installation targets for Spain of between 1 and 3 GW by 2030.

Some of the main indicators of the White Paper are the following:

Direct GDP contribution. For the 2025-2030 period, the direct contribution to GDP would be 6,116 million euros, considering a realistic scenario in which 75% of the activities are carried out in Spain. Additionally, 1,860 million euros would be added relating to activities such as Operation and Maintenance, shipbuilding, etc. In total, in this period, the contribution of offshore wind development will amount to 9,581 million euros and this figure will increase in successive periods until reaching the 2045-2050 period with a contribution of 10,466 million euros (attached graph).
JOB. Offshore wind power in Spain will generate 7,523 new jobs in the 2025-2030 period and a number of 17,438 professionals specialized in offshore wind power are estimated for the 2045-2050 period (attached graph).

The presentation of the White Paper on the Offshore Wind Industry includes a prologue by the Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, where she states “Spain currently has an industrial fabric and logistics infrastructure capable of absorbing practically all of its the value chain of the offshore wind industry. This White Paper offers an exhaustive review of the international environment, the regulatory frameworks and the evolution forecasts for the 2030 horizon, as well as the technologies and projects under development and the main players in the sector. It will undoubtedly be a reference document to learn about the challenges of this sector and the industrial opportunities it brings to our country”.

The White Paper sets out a series of main challenges that must be addressed in the short term. Juan Virgilio Márquez, general director of AEE, in the presentation of the document reviews the main challenges for the development of offshore wind power in Spain on a large scale. “Among other challenges, it is urgent to develop the Maritime Space Management Plans (POEM) and a specific regulatory framework for offshore wind with an industrial focus. In parallel, it is necessary to establish a calendar/objectives for offshore wind power that facilitates investment and offers visibility for the development of this technology in the country. We cannot stop prioritizing the necessary social consensus and co-responsibility to make possible the coexistence of offshore wind power with other activities on our coast”.

Enrique Doheijo, Director of the Deloitte Energy Area, states: “A sustainable path of growth in offshore wind power over time is necessary, which acts as a motor for the development of the industry associated with this technology. Starting from the economies of scale and the professional capacities that will be generated, an export activity similar to that of onshore wind will be created”.

The conclusions of the White Paper on the Offshore Wind Industry in Spain include an assessment of the impact of this technology during the 2025-2050 period, which would be equivalent to 49,607 million euros of GDP. Regarding employment, it will gradually increase to 17,438 jobs per year for 2045-2050.

Spain cannot miss out on the advantages we have due to our geography, industrial structure and experience in the wind sector. The industries that will benefit from the development of offshore wind power make up a competitive industrial fabric (naval, civil works, shipyards, ports, etc.) that will see their activity increase, as this White Paper shows in its analysis. The development of offshore wind power has a tractor effect for the economy of our country. We cannot waste any more time and take advantage of the fact that Spain has the necessary conditions and factors to develop a powerful offshore wind industry, which helps to accelerate the energy transition towards efficient and clean renewable sources, and contributes to generating cheaper and more sustainable electricity.