Offshore Wind Energy Market Assessment

NREL’s annual offshore wind energy market assessment outlines the global and U.S. offshore wind energy industries’ current state and trends.

Every year, NREL researchers assess the offshore wind energy market on behalf of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Wind Energy Technologies Office (WETO). Written by NREL wind energy researchers, the resulting Offshore Wind Market Report provides unbiased reporting of offshore wind energy market trends, technologies, and costs.

Researchers analyze data obtained from a wide variety of sources about offshore wind energy projects that are both operating and under development to offer past, current, and forward-looking perspectives. Those sources, which are also validated against each other and other sources, include:

  • NREL’s internal offshore wind database, detailing project characteristics, economic attributes, technical specifications, and installation as well as operations and maintenance information for 2,079 offshore wind energy projects in 49 countries, which totals an active-plus-dormant capacity of 831,991 megawatts (MW)
  • 4C Offshore’s Wind Database
  • 4C Offshore’s Vessel Database
  • The U.S. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s online published data
  • BloombergNEF’s Renewable Energy Project Database
  • Wood Mackenzie’s Wind Turbine Trends.

The researchers consider four areas of the industry: the U.S. offshore wind energy market, the global offshore wind energy market, siting and technology trends, and domestic and global cost and finances.

Key Findings

A barge in the ocean overlain with the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy logo and the words “Offshore Wind Market Report: 2023 Edition.”
In DOE's Offshore Wind Market Report: 2023 Edition, NREL researchers highlight lower costs and increasing capacity in offshore wind energy in the United States and globally. Cover by NREL

In the report, the authors detail the global and domestic offshore wind energy industries to provide readers with context and help them navigate technical and market barriers and opportunities.

The 2023 assessment provides data and trends in wind energy development, technology, cost, and performance through 2022 for the global wind energy industry and from Jan. 1, 2022, through May 31, 2023 for the domestic wind energy industry as well as forecasts for the near future.

The researchers’ key findings of the U.S. offshore wind energy market, outlined in the executive summary, highlight:

  • A growing pipeline in 2022, which increased by 15% to a potential generating capacity of 52.7 gigawatts (GW), which, when built, would be enough to power about 18 million American homes
  • Two operational U.S. plants, which provide 42 MW of wind energy (in Rhode Island and Virginia), and 40 more under development
  • Procurement goals for offshore wind energy in eight states for a total of 42.7 GW of wind energy capacity by 2040
  • Expanding offshore wind energy development potential through federal leasing, with the sale of the first commercial floating offshore wind energy lease areas off the coast of California.

Their key findings, from a global perspective, on the offshore wind energy market include:

  • A global floating offshore wind energy capacity of 123.44 MW that could reach more than 10 GW by 2030 with 102 GW in various stages of planning and development
  • New offshore wind installations in 2022that increased global capacity by over 8 GW of offshore wind energy for a total of over 59 GW by 257 operating projects
  • With additional projects in various stages of planning and development totaling more than 426 GW, offshore wind energy capacity could reach 182 GW by 2028.


Offshore Wind Market Report: 2023 Edition, DOE Technical Report (2023)

Offshore Wind Market Report: 2022 Edition, DOE Technical Report (2022)

Offshore Wind Market Report: 2021 Edition, DOE Technical Report (2021)

2019 Offshore Wind Market Report, DOE Technical Report (2019)

2018 Offshore Technologies Wind Market Report, DOE Technical Report (2018)

To complement the NREL-produced offshore wind energy market report, WETO simultaneously releases a land-based wind energy market report, prepared by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and a distributed wind energy market report, produced by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

Find these other 2023 reports as well as past offshore wind energy market reports (2012–2022) via WETO’s wind energy market reports web page.


Walt Musial

Research Platform Lead, Offshore Wind