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European Nations Make Offshore Wind Pledge

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

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Three European countries pledged Tuesday (June 6) to work to increase the world’s offshore wind capacity fivefold in the next 13 years.

Representatives of Germany, Denmark and Belgium signed a joint statement at the opening of Offshore Wind Energy 2017, an industry event organized by trade organizations WindEurope and RenewableUK. The statement, penned by the industry, calls for European governments to ensure 60 gigawatts of new offshore wind power generated off the continent by 2030.

Offshore array

Leaders of at least three European nations have pledged to support a fivefold increase in offshore wind energy production by 2030.

The world’s offshore wind farms—most of which are off the coasts of the U.K. and continental Europe—generated about 13.8 gigawatts of power last year, according to Bloomberg.

The pledge, also signed by a number of executives in the offshore wind industry, reaffirms the North Seas Declaration, signed exactly one year ago, and extends and builds upon that statement. The governments taking part committed to working to increase investment in offshore wind arrays, and decrease the cost of creating them.

4 Gigawatts Per Year

The plan involves an increase in new offshore development into the 2020s, and the sustained development of about 4 gigawatts of new production annually through the end of that decade.

With development at that rate, WindEurope says that offshore wind energy can become economically competitive with new conventional power generation by 2030.

A new report issued by BVG Associates in conjunction with WindEurope asserts that “offshore wind could in theory generate between 2,600 (terawatt-hours) and 6,000 (terawatt-hours) per year at competitive cost,” representing between 80 and 180 percent of the European Union’s energy needs. The report defines “competitive cost” as 65 euros or less per megawatt-hour.

Hornsea Project Two
Rendering: DONG Energy

Last year, the U.K. approved the construction of Hornsea Project Two, which would be the world’s largest offshore wind farm.

The report calls for “ambitious deployment” of offshore capabilities through 2030, and market support mechanisms that support successful project delivery (and drive competition) “until the point that they are no longer needed.”

WindEurope reportedly plans to seek signatures from seven other European countries, including the U.K., that signed last year’s North Seas Declaration.

Conference Continues

Offshore Wind Energy 2017, in London, continues through Thursday (June 8). The event, which touts more than 10,000 participants, includes speakers, technical sessions and an exhibit floor with more than 400 vendors.

Last year, the U.K. approved the construction of Hornsea Project Two, which would be the world’s largest offshore wind farm. Consisting of 300 turbines and delivering up to 1.8 gigawatts, the array, to be run by offshore wind firm DONG Energy, is scheduled for offshore construction starting next year.


Tagged categories: Europe; Government; Market trends; Offshore; Program/Project Management; Wind Farm; Wind Towers

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