What is the future of European offshore wind technology?
Offshore wind technology began its development in Europe, with the Vindeby Offshore Wind Farm, in 1991. Since then, its quick growth has been notorious. For the next years, we will be seeing an ambitious expansion of the European offshore wind power, closely followed by China.
As of today, the offshore wind capacity in Europe is almost at 20 GW. To accomplish that, the continent needed 105 wind farms and 4,500 turbines, providing 400,000 jobs. Statistics show an extraordinary market performance on the continent. This makes Europe in one of the offshore leaders, due to its rapid innovation and infrastructure development. The United Kingdom and Germany stand out, once they are the countries that most contributed to this leadership, closely followed by Belgium and Denmark, for example.
Despite this promising view, there are still a lot of challenges to overcome. On top of that, the European region is setting the stakes even higher. Take, for example, the most recent European Investment Bank decision to stop funding most of the fossil fuel projects by 2021, assuming this investment is going to renewable energies. In fact, by 2040, the offshore wind capacity will rise nearly 130 GW, or even to around 180 GW. With these numbers, it will become the continent’s largest single source of energy.
The future advances of offshore wind technology
It is necessary that technology development keeps the same rapid pace as the construction of offshore wind farms. The offshore wind sector will need bigger and more powerful wind turbines. We are now witnessing the introduction of better offshore wind turbines, such as the Haliade-X, from GE Renewable Energy, and the Siemens Gamesa 10 MW offshore model. That will allow cost reductions in the sector, making it more competitive with other energy sources.
It seems the future of offshore wind technology will be about the development of advanced floating turbines, which are now being tested, for example, in Portugal, France, and Scotland. That will help reach resources in deep waters, unlike the usual bottom-fixed turbines because of the ocean bed limitations. Consequently, the floating technology could be one of the solutions to meet the clean energy demand countries are now facing.
Alongside these innovations and developments, there will be a need for field technicians’ specialization in this new offshore wind technology. In the next 30 years, the new European offshore wind farms will have contributed to an accentuated increase in the number of jobs. Take the example of the United Kingdom, which is expecting to create around 27,000 jobs.
Endiprev at WindEurope Offshore 2019 Conference
For quite some time now, Endiprev is paying close attention to the direction of the offshore market in Europe. This is important to stay one step ahead of the market’s future needs. Consequently, it also helps us prepare our teams in the field.
The WindEurope Offshore 2019, from November 26th to 28th, is going to be a great opportunity not only to show our expertise and professionalism to industry-leading figures but also to demonstrate why we are the only offshore wind power contractor to perform in three continents.
If this is of interest, schedule a meeting with our team in the event by sending an email. Come visit us at Stand 3-A47.