July 15, 2020 Read More →

Global floating offshore wind potential could reach 70GW by 2040—report

Business Green:

An estimated 70GW of floating wind could be installed across the globe by 2040, according to forecasts contained in the Carbon Trust’s new Floating Wind Joint Industry Project’s (JIP’s) second phase summary report.

The nascent sector could expand rapidly to deliver £195bn worth of projects, the report adds, underscoring the “opportunity for the supply chain globally to support and invest in floating wind”. Even in the shorter term, the study predicts the sector delivering up to 10.7GW of global floating wind capacity by 2030.

Floating wind technology enables offshore wind turbine installation in deeper waters not suitable for bottom-fixed turbines, opening up large swathes of the planet’s surface to renewable energy generation. Pilot projects have shown the potential for similar, or even higher yields from floating turbines compared to bottom-fixed projects, as they can be situated in locations with higher wind resource. Advocates of the approach also predict that it could lead to lower development costs, as floating technologies do not require foundation structures.

However, the report acknowledges that technological challenges remain across four main areas: turbine requirements and foundations scaling; heavy lift offshore operations; dynamic export cables; and monitoring and inspection.

Despite such challenges, however, the report concludes there is massive growth potential for floating wind. “We expect that it will become a key sector for low carbon power generation and economic growth in geographies where deeper waters do not allow for bottom-fixed offshore wind turbines,” said Dany Kyle Spearman, manager of the Floating Wind JIP at the Carbon Trust.

The report comes just days after Irish developer Simply Blue Energy took the first steps towards delivering the Emerald project, an ambitious plan to deploy a floating offshore wind farm that would harness the wind potential of the Celtic Sea. An application has been made to the Irish Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage for a license to carry out initial site investigation works in an area off the Kinsale coast, County Cork, Ireland. The project is intended to be delivered as a staged development, starting with a pre-commercial array of approximately 100MW capacity and building to an overall capacity of 1GW upon final completion.

[Toby Hill]

More: Floating wind set to sail to 70GW of capacity by 2040, study predicts

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