What did we get right in our 2021 predictions?

Let’s celebrate the true spirit of Christmas: accountability.

Richard Heap
December 23, 2021
This content is from our archive. Some formatting or links may be broken.
This content is from our archive. Some formatting or links may be broken.
What did we get right in our 2021 predictions?

In the first week of 2021, we shared 10 predictions for what would happen in the global wind industry this year. Now we’re back to see which we got right.

  1. Installation figures get Covid bounce: We said installations would rise globally in 2021 compared to 2020 due to delays caused by the Covid-19 pandemic – and in hindsight it was a dangerous prediction. In March, we saw that 2020 was a record year for wind, with 93GW installed, and so we are unlikely to see a bounce from there despite the surge we see in offshore wind. Yes, it was the strong year that we predicted, but we'll take off half a point for underestimating the sector in 2020. 0.5
  1. Biden injects new enthusiasm in US wind: Too obvious?! Not really. President Biden was always going to be ‘greener’ than his predecessor, but the speed his administration moved to unblock US offshore wind set the tone for a year that included big plans in the Build Back Better bill, although that is yet to pass. One point. 1

  2. No more offshore turbines in US waters in 2021: If you follow offshore wind development timescales, you'll know this was less a prediction and more a statement of fact. We were also right to say US offshore wind is “heading the right way”, as we saw in September with the financial close of the 800MW Vineyard Wind 1 and in further state awards last week. We’ve been pleasantly surprised by BOEM too. One point. 1

  3. European eyes turn to UK round 4 auction: The timeline for the UK’s round 4 Contracts for Difference (CfD) may have slipped, but tenders in the UK have still set the tone for offshore wind in Europe this year. First, The Crown Estate revealed the results of its latest seabed auction, which featured stunning bids and auction fees; and second, there has been huge interest in ScotWind. Low strike prices and floating wind are still hotly debated topics. We're claiming the point. 1
  1. Offshore emerges in southeast Asia and Scandinavia: We predicted great progress in markets from Japan, Korea and Vietnam to Denmark, Norway and Sweden, and we’ve seen just that. The momentum is also growing in Poland, Italy and France. Maybe this one was too obvious given the long development cycles in offshore wind, but they all look obvious when you get them right! One point. 1

  2. OEMs eye buyouts to shore up development pipelines: We didn’t get them all right though! We said that OEMs would be focused on buying up development projects to shore up their order pipelines, but it hasn’t come to pass. Indeed, the opposite is true as OEMs focus on their core business (see today's news)! Our idea of an “eye-popping tie up between an Asian and European OEM” was also wide of the mark, even though it would make economic sense to see a big merger. No point. 0

  3. European oil majors grab headlines with offshore inroads: In 2020, oil majors such as BP, Eni, Shell and Total committed to energy transition plans, and in 2021 we saw them use offshore wind to achieve them. Oil giants were major players for UK seabed sites, and have been buying into new projects too: Shell hooked up with Simply Blue, Total entered Taiwan, and Eni bought into the 1.2GW Dogger Bank C. One point. 1

  4. EU green recovery talk cools as talk turns to permits: After all the talk of a global ‘green recovery’ in 2020, we said that the sector’s attention in 2021 would turn back to the “sluggish permitting process” that is undermining wind. The talk of the ‘green recovery’ has quietened, even with the COP26 talks in November, and permitting comes up in far more conversations across the industry. One point. 1

  5. Germany emerges as a PPA hotspot: We said that Germany would be the most exciting market for renewable corporate power purchase agreements (PPAs) in Europe in 2021 and we were right, sort of. Undoubtedly, PPAs in Germany have continued to emerge as more customers seek to buy green electricity and older projects become ineligible for subsidy regimes. But we still haven’t seen the blockbuster 2021 for PPAs in Germany that we thought we might. Perhaps we got ourselves over-excited?! Half a point. 0.5

  6. Companies shout about flexibility post-Covid: We should lose half a point right now for blithely suggesting we’d be “post-Covid”. That’s a bad prediction if ever there was one! The prediction that people would still “want to meet up in offices and at face-to-face events as soon as is safely possible” only looks half-right too as office attendances continue to take a pummelling. Still, there will be long-term impacts on flexible working, so half a point seems fair. 0.5

All of which brings us to a final score of 7.5/10.

Wind has enjoyed a good year in many ways, especially interest offshore. But it needs greater political support in more countries if the sector is to thrive – and if the world is to stand any chance of hitting climate targets agreed at United Nations talks in Paris and Glasgow.

We need strong, fast, and coordinated action in 2022. Have a great festive period and see you in the new year!

In the first week of 2021, we shared 10 predictions for what would happen in the global wind industry this year. Now we’re back to see which we got right.

  1. Installation figures get Covid bounce: We said installations would rise globally in 2021 compared to 2020 due to delays caused by the Covid-19 pandemic – and in hindsight it was a dangerous prediction. In March, we saw that 2020 was a record year for wind, with 93GW installed, and so we are unlikely to see a bounce from there despite the surge we see in offshore wind. Yes, it was the strong year that we predicted, but we'll take off half a point for underestimating the sector in 2020. 0.5
  1. Biden injects new enthusiasm in US wind: Too obvious?! Not really. President Biden was always going to be ‘greener’ than his predecessor, but the speed his administration moved to unblock US offshore wind set the tone for a year that included big plans in the Build Back Better bill, although that is yet to pass. One point. 1

  2. No more offshore turbines in US waters in 2021: If you follow offshore wind development timescales, you'll know this was less a prediction and more a statement of fact. We were also right to say US offshore wind is “heading the right way”, as we saw in September with the financial close of the 800MW Vineyard Wind 1 and in further state awards last week. We’ve been pleasantly surprised by BOEM too. One point. 1

  3. European eyes turn to UK round 4 auction: The timeline for the UK’s round 4 Contracts for Difference (CfD) may have slipped, but tenders in the UK have still set the tone for offshore wind in Europe this year. First, The Crown Estate revealed the results of its latest seabed auction, which featured stunning bids and auction fees; and second, there has been huge interest in ScotWind. Low strike prices and floating wind are still hotly debated topics. We're claiming the point. 1
  1. Offshore emerges in southeast Asia and Scandinavia: We predicted great progress in markets from Japan, Korea and Vietnam to Denmark, Norway and Sweden, and we’ve seen just that. The momentum is also growing in Poland, Italy and France. Maybe this one was too obvious given the long development cycles in offshore wind, but they all look obvious when you get them right! One point. 1

  2. OEMs eye buyouts to shore up development pipelines: We didn’t get them all right though! We said that OEMs would be focused on buying up development projects to shore up their order pipelines, but it hasn’t come to pass. Indeed, the opposite is true as OEMs focus on their core business (see today's news)! Our idea of an “eye-popping tie up between an Asian and European OEM” was also wide of the mark, even though it would make economic sense to see a big merger. No point. 0

  3. European oil majors grab headlines with offshore inroads: In 2020, oil majors such as BP, Eni, Shell and Total committed to energy transition plans, and in 2021 we saw them use offshore wind to achieve them. Oil giants were major players for UK seabed sites, and have been buying into new projects too: Shell hooked up with Simply Blue, Total entered Taiwan, and Eni bought into the 1.2GW Dogger Bank C. One point. 1

  4. EU green recovery talk cools as talk turns to permits: After all the talk of a global ‘green recovery’ in 2020, we said that the sector’s attention in 2021 would turn back to the “sluggish permitting process” that is undermining wind. The talk of the ‘green recovery’ has quietened, even with the COP26 talks in November, and permitting comes up in far more conversations across the industry. One point. 1

  5. Germany emerges as a PPA hotspot: We said that Germany would be the most exciting market for renewable corporate power purchase agreements (PPAs) in Europe in 2021 and we were right, sort of. Undoubtedly, PPAs in Germany have continued to emerge as more customers seek to buy green electricity and older projects become ineligible for subsidy regimes. But we still haven’t seen the blockbuster 2021 for PPAs in Germany that we thought we might. Perhaps we got ourselves over-excited?! Half a point. 0.5

  6. Companies shout about flexibility post-Covid: We should lose half a point right now for blithely suggesting we’d be “post-Covid”. That’s a bad prediction if ever there was one! The prediction that people would still “want to meet up in offices and at face-to-face events as soon as is safely possible” only looks half-right too as office attendances continue to take a pummelling. Still, there will be long-term impacts on flexible working, so half a point seems fair. 0.5

All of which brings us to a final score of 7.5/10.

Wind has enjoyed a good year in many ways, especially interest offshore. But it needs greater political support in more countries if the sector is to thrive – and if the world is to stand any chance of hitting climate targets agreed at United Nations talks in Paris and Glasgow.

We need strong, fast, and coordinated action in 2022. Have a great festive period and see you in the new year!

In the first week of 2021, we shared 10 predictions for what would happen in the global wind industry this year. Now we’re back to see which we got right.

  1. Installation figures get Covid bounce: We said installations would rise globally in 2021 compared to 2020 due to delays caused by the Covid-19 pandemic – and in hindsight it was a dangerous prediction. In March, we saw that 2020 was a record year for wind, with 93GW installed, and so we are unlikely to see a bounce from there despite the surge we see in offshore wind. Yes, it was the strong year that we predicted, but we'll take off half a point for underestimating the sector in 2020. 0.5
  1. Biden injects new enthusiasm in US wind: Too obvious?! Not really. President Biden was always going to be ‘greener’ than his predecessor, but the speed his administration moved to unblock US offshore wind set the tone for a year that included big plans in the Build Back Better bill, although that is yet to pass. One point. 1

  2. No more offshore turbines in US waters in 2021: If you follow offshore wind development timescales, you'll know this was less a prediction and more a statement of fact. We were also right to say US offshore wind is “heading the right way”, as we saw in September with the financial close of the 800MW Vineyard Wind 1 and in further state awards last week. We’ve been pleasantly surprised by BOEM too. One point. 1

  3. European eyes turn to UK round 4 auction: The timeline for the UK’s round 4 Contracts for Difference (CfD) may have slipped, but tenders in the UK have still set the tone for offshore wind in Europe this year. First, The Crown Estate revealed the results of its latest seabed auction, which featured stunning bids and auction fees; and second, there has been huge interest in ScotWind. Low strike prices and floating wind are still hotly debated topics. We're claiming the point. 1
  1. Offshore emerges in southeast Asia and Scandinavia: We predicted great progress in markets from Japan, Korea and Vietnam to Denmark, Norway and Sweden, and we’ve seen just that. The momentum is also growing in Poland, Italy and France. Maybe this one was too obvious given the long development cycles in offshore wind, but they all look obvious when you get them right! One point. 1

  2. OEMs eye buyouts to shore up development pipelines: We didn’t get them all right though! We said that OEMs would be focused on buying up development projects to shore up their order pipelines, but it hasn’t come to pass. Indeed, the opposite is true as OEMs focus on their core business (see today's news)! Our idea of an “eye-popping tie up between an Asian and European OEM” was also wide of the mark, even though it would make economic sense to see a big merger. No point. 0

  3. European oil majors grab headlines with offshore inroads: In 2020, oil majors such as BP, Eni, Shell and Total committed to energy transition plans, and in 2021 we saw them use offshore wind to achieve them. Oil giants were major players for UK seabed sites, and have been buying into new projects too: Shell hooked up with Simply Blue, Total entered Taiwan, and Eni bought into the 1.2GW Dogger Bank C. One point. 1

  4. EU green recovery talk cools as talk turns to permits: After all the talk of a global ‘green recovery’ in 2020, we said that the sector’s attention in 2021 would turn back to the “sluggish permitting process” that is undermining wind. The talk of the ‘green recovery’ has quietened, even with the COP26 talks in November, and permitting comes up in far more conversations across the industry. One point. 1

  5. Germany emerges as a PPA hotspot: We said that Germany would be the most exciting market for renewable corporate power purchase agreements (PPAs) in Europe in 2021 and we were right, sort of. Undoubtedly, PPAs in Germany have continued to emerge as more customers seek to buy green electricity and older projects become ineligible for subsidy regimes. But we still haven’t seen the blockbuster 2021 for PPAs in Germany that we thought we might. Perhaps we got ourselves over-excited?! Half a point. 0.5

  6. Companies shout about flexibility post-Covid: We should lose half a point right now for blithely suggesting we’d be “post-Covid”. That’s a bad prediction if ever there was one! The prediction that people would still “want to meet up in offices and at face-to-face events as soon as is safely possible” only looks half-right too as office attendances continue to take a pummelling. Still, there will be long-term impacts on flexible working, so half a point seems fair. 0.5

All of which brings us to a final score of 7.5/10.

Wind has enjoyed a good year in many ways, especially interest offshore. But it needs greater political support in more countries if the sector is to thrive – and if the world is to stand any chance of hitting climate targets agreed at United Nations talks in Paris and Glasgow.

We need strong, fast, and coordinated action in 2022. Have a great festive period and see you in the new year!

In the first week of 2021, we shared 10 predictions for what would happen in the global wind industry this year. Now we’re back to see which we got right.

  1. Installation figures get Covid bounce: We said installations would rise globally in 2021 compared to 2020 due to delays caused by the Covid-19 pandemic – and in hindsight it was a dangerous prediction. In March, we saw that 2020 was a record year for wind, with 93GW installed, and so we are unlikely to see a bounce from there despite the surge we see in offshore wind. Yes, it was the strong year that we predicted, but we'll take off half a point for underestimating the sector in 2020. 0.5
  1. Biden injects new enthusiasm in US wind: Too obvious?! Not really. President Biden was always going to be ‘greener’ than his predecessor, but the speed his administration moved to unblock US offshore wind set the tone for a year that included big plans in the Build Back Better bill, although that is yet to pass. One point. 1

  2. No more offshore turbines in US waters in 2021: If you follow offshore wind development timescales, you'll know this was less a prediction and more a statement of fact. We were also right to say US offshore wind is “heading the right way”, as we saw in September with the financial close of the 800MW Vineyard Wind 1 and in further state awards last week. We’ve been pleasantly surprised by BOEM too. One point. 1

  3. European eyes turn to UK round 4 auction: The timeline for the UK’s round 4 Contracts for Difference (CfD) may have slipped, but tenders in the UK have still set the tone for offshore wind in Europe this year. First, The Crown Estate revealed the results of its latest seabed auction, which featured stunning bids and auction fees; and second, there has been huge interest in ScotWind. Low strike prices and floating wind are still hotly debated topics. We're claiming the point. 1
  1. Offshore emerges in southeast Asia and Scandinavia: We predicted great progress in markets from Japan, Korea and Vietnam to Denmark, Norway and Sweden, and we’ve seen just that. The momentum is also growing in Poland, Italy and France. Maybe this one was too obvious given the long development cycles in offshore wind, but they all look obvious when you get them right! One point. 1

  2. OEMs eye buyouts to shore up development pipelines: We didn’t get them all right though! We said that OEMs would be focused on buying up development projects to shore up their order pipelines, but it hasn’t come to pass. Indeed, the opposite is true as OEMs focus on their core business (see today's news)! Our idea of an “eye-popping tie up between an Asian and European OEM” was also wide of the mark, even though it would make economic sense to see a big merger. No point. 0

  3. European oil majors grab headlines with offshore inroads: In 2020, oil majors such as BP, Eni, Shell and Total committed to energy transition plans, and in 2021 we saw them use offshore wind to achieve them. Oil giants were major players for UK seabed sites, and have been buying into new projects too: Shell hooked up with Simply Blue, Total entered Taiwan, and Eni bought into the 1.2GW Dogger Bank C. One point. 1

  4. EU green recovery talk cools as talk turns to permits: After all the talk of a global ‘green recovery’ in 2020, we said that the sector’s attention in 2021 would turn back to the “sluggish permitting process” that is undermining wind. The talk of the ‘green recovery’ has quietened, even with the COP26 talks in November, and permitting comes up in far more conversations across the industry. One point. 1

  5. Germany emerges as a PPA hotspot: We said that Germany would be the most exciting market for renewable corporate power purchase agreements (PPAs) in Europe in 2021 and we were right, sort of. Undoubtedly, PPAs in Germany have continued to emerge as more customers seek to buy green electricity and older projects become ineligible for subsidy regimes. But we still haven’t seen the blockbuster 2021 for PPAs in Germany that we thought we might. Perhaps we got ourselves over-excited?! Half a point. 0.5

  6. Companies shout about flexibility post-Covid: We should lose half a point right now for blithely suggesting we’d be “post-Covid”. That’s a bad prediction if ever there was one! The prediction that people would still “want to meet up in offices and at face-to-face events as soon as is safely possible” only looks half-right too as office attendances continue to take a pummelling. Still, there will be long-term impacts on flexible working, so half a point seems fair. 0.5

All of which brings us to a final score of 7.5/10.

Wind has enjoyed a good year in many ways, especially interest offshore. But it needs greater political support in more countries if the sector is to thrive – and if the world is to stand any chance of hitting climate targets agreed at United Nations talks in Paris and Glasgow.

We need strong, fast, and coordinated action in 2022. Have a great festive period and see you in the new year!

In the first week of 2021, we shared 10 predictions for what would happen in the global wind industry this year. Now we’re back to see which we got right.

  1. Installation figures get Covid bounce: We said installations would rise globally in 2021 compared to 2020 due to delays caused by the Covid-19 pandemic – and in hindsight it was a dangerous prediction. In March, we saw that 2020 was a record year for wind, with 93GW installed, and so we are unlikely to see a bounce from there despite the surge we see in offshore wind. Yes, it was the strong year that we predicted, but we'll take off half a point for underestimating the sector in 2020. 0.5
  1. Biden injects new enthusiasm in US wind: Too obvious?! Not really. President Biden was always going to be ‘greener’ than his predecessor, but the speed his administration moved to unblock US offshore wind set the tone for a year that included big plans in the Build Back Better bill, although that is yet to pass. One point. 1

  2. No more offshore turbines in US waters in 2021: If you follow offshore wind development timescales, you'll know this was less a prediction and more a statement of fact. We were also right to say US offshore wind is “heading the right way”, as we saw in September with the financial close of the 800MW Vineyard Wind 1 and in further state awards last week. We’ve been pleasantly surprised by BOEM too. One point. 1

  3. European eyes turn to UK round 4 auction: The timeline for the UK’s round 4 Contracts for Difference (CfD) may have slipped, but tenders in the UK have still set the tone for offshore wind in Europe this year. First, The Crown Estate revealed the results of its latest seabed auction, which featured stunning bids and auction fees; and second, there has been huge interest in ScotWind. Low strike prices and floating wind are still hotly debated topics. We're claiming the point. 1
  1. Offshore emerges in southeast Asia and Scandinavia: We predicted great progress in markets from Japan, Korea and Vietnam to Denmark, Norway and Sweden, and we’ve seen just that. The momentum is also growing in Poland, Italy and France. Maybe this one was too obvious given the long development cycles in offshore wind, but they all look obvious when you get them right! One point. 1

  2. OEMs eye buyouts to shore up development pipelines: We didn’t get them all right though! We said that OEMs would be focused on buying up development projects to shore up their order pipelines, but it hasn’t come to pass. Indeed, the opposite is true as OEMs focus on their core business (see today's news)! Our idea of an “eye-popping tie up between an Asian and European OEM” was also wide of the mark, even though it would make economic sense to see a big merger. No point. 0

  3. European oil majors grab headlines with offshore inroads: In 2020, oil majors such as BP, Eni, Shell and Total committed to energy transition plans, and in 2021 we saw them use offshore wind to achieve them. Oil giants were major players for UK seabed sites, and have been buying into new projects too: Shell hooked up with Simply Blue, Total entered Taiwan, and Eni bought into the 1.2GW Dogger Bank C. One point. 1

  4. EU green recovery talk cools as talk turns to permits: After all the talk of a global ‘green recovery’ in 2020, we said that the sector’s attention in 2021 would turn back to the “sluggish permitting process” that is undermining wind. The talk of the ‘green recovery’ has quietened, even with the COP26 talks in November, and permitting comes up in far more conversations across the industry. One point. 1

  5. Germany emerges as a PPA hotspot: We said that Germany would be the most exciting market for renewable corporate power purchase agreements (PPAs) in Europe in 2021 and we were right, sort of. Undoubtedly, PPAs in Germany have continued to emerge as more customers seek to buy green electricity and older projects become ineligible for subsidy regimes. But we still haven’t seen the blockbuster 2021 for PPAs in Germany that we thought we might. Perhaps we got ourselves over-excited?! Half a point. 0.5

  6. Companies shout about flexibility post-Covid: We should lose half a point right now for blithely suggesting we’d be “post-Covid”. That’s a bad prediction if ever there was one! The prediction that people would still “want to meet up in offices and at face-to-face events as soon as is safely possible” only looks half-right too as office attendances continue to take a pummelling. Still, there will be long-term impacts on flexible working, so half a point seems fair. 0.5

All of which brings us to a final score of 7.5/10.

Wind has enjoyed a good year in many ways, especially interest offshore. But it needs greater political support in more countries if the sector is to thrive – and if the world is to stand any chance of hitting climate targets agreed at United Nations talks in Paris and Glasgow.

We need strong, fast, and coordinated action in 2022. Have a great festive period and see you in the new year!

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Not a member yet?

Become a member of the 6,500-strong A Word About Wind community today, and gain access to our premium content, exclusive lead generation and investment opportunities.