Last week, DNV released a statement to announce key findings of its report, Spatial Competition Forecast, on the growing Blue Economy and the global race for space among ocean sectors.
According to DNV, many ocean areas will become busier in the coming decades as the Blue Economy grows and diversifies, particularly as offshore wind grows in response to the need for renewable energy. Offshore wind and aquaculture will need to work together more closely in order to coexist sustainably with other industries and the ecosystem.
Highlights of the report include:
- Global need for ocean area by installations for energy and food production will see a five-fold increase by 2050, primarily due to the growth in offshore wind.
- Spatial competition will greatly increase in shallow waters close to shore in areas that are already among the world’s busiest.
- A focus on coexistence between industries, and between industries and the environment, will be necessary for a sustainable Blue Economy.
DNV’s Spatial Competition Forecast builds on the findings of the previously published Ocean’s Future to 2050. The results are based on what DNV forecasts to be the most likely energy mix in 2050 and not what is required to reach net zero. To limit global warming to two degrees the amount of offshore wind in Europe, for example, would need to double.
The ocean is crucial for the production of sustainable food and energy, but at the same time we must tread carefully as many ocean ecosystems are already under huge stress
…said Bente Pretlove, Ocean Space programme director at DNV.
As demonstrated in the Index, the amount of ocean space occupied by installations will grow 5-fold by 2050. This will be driven by offshore wind, which will account for 80% of stationary infrastructure at sea by midcentury, followed by aquaculture (13%) and oil and gas (5%).
Industrial activity will be located primarily close to shore. According to the Spatial Competition Index, the North Sea is the area in Europe which will see greatest competition due to the large number of shipping lanes and ports, as well as the strong presences of the fishing, aquaculture, oil and gas and wind industries. Installations for offshore energy and food production will cover 23% of the area between 2-50 km from shore in water depths less than 50 metres.
Greater China’s emergence as the powerhouse of the blue economy is reflected in offshore construction. It will account for a third of all global infrastructure built at sea by 2050, mainly due to the sharp increase in offshore wind, which will make up 13% of the region’s electricity production.
The Indian Subcontinent sees the strongest growth in area covered by stationary infrastructure, as the region experiences fast offshore wind development requiring vast areas, whereas historically, offshore oil and gas and marine aquaculture are negligible in this region.
Concerning North America, by 2050 14% of offsore wind will be fixed, with the remaining percentage being floating. Marine aquaculture will be sheltered by an astounding percentage of 90%. The area occupied by stationary infrastructure in North America is expected to reach nearly 30 units by 1000km2 in 2050.
Globally, the area occupied by fixed offshore wind will grow from about 9,000 km2 today to about 242,000 km2 by mid-century. Floating offshore wind will grow from a low 15 km2 today to more than 33,000 km2 by 2050. Compared with bottom-grounded installations, floating offshore wind can potentially ease some of the tensions between offshore wind and fisheries, as it takes renewable energy production out of the way of the fishing fleet operating on shallow banks.
To facilitate collaboration between industries and enable stakeholders to find synergies, resolve conflicts and safeguard ocean health in Norway, DNV has recently received a grant of NOK 8.8 million from The Research Council of Norway to develop the MARine CO-existence scenario building (MARCO) toolbox. The project aims to establish a common knowledge basis among ocean stakeholders by introducing new ways of generating scenarios for co-existence in marine spatial planning and development projects in the ocean industries.
REQUEST A COPY OF THE REPORT HERE
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