Spatial Competition Forecast

Explore how the growing Blue Economy will lead to a global race for space among ocean sectors

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The ocean holds many urgently needed transformational solutions for creating more sustainable food and energy systems, but only if we safeguard ocean health and carefully manage its assets. As the Blue Economy grows and diversifies, many ocean areas are going to become busier in the coming decades, especially as offshore wind grows in response to the need for renewable energy. 

These developments raise important questions, like: How busy is our ocean going to get? What are the social, environmental, and economic implications of spatial competition among ocean industries? 

The Spatial Competition Forecast is a first attempt to answer these questions. We build on our blue economy forecast – the Ocean’s Future to 2050 – and draw on DNV’s Energy Transition Outlook. These are some of the highlights: 

  • 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.