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Wind Energy Update

09 Dec 2011 11:12:42

Offshore wind 2011: the facts

The renewable energy sector is quickly turning into a profitable business: in 2010 investment in the renewable energy projects exceeded the ones in fossil fuel demonstrating a new trend in investors’ strategy. Offshore wind, with its incomparably high energy production per hour witnessed important developments during 2011.

RWE The fifth largest utility company in Europe, with 3 offshore wind projects in the UK (North Hoyle, Rhyl Flats and Greater Gabbard) and a pipeline of 6.5GW of offshore wind capacity, announced 40% increase in its annual renewables investments to EUR1.4 billion.

Eneco The Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation awarded a 400 million euros subsidy to utility from the remaining budget for the development of a wind farm in the North Sea.

Acciona Spanish wind giant Acciona is partnering with shipbuilder Navantia for offshore business development, including the development of fixed and floating foundations for the installation of wind turbines, electrical substations, meteorological towers, vessels and platforms for installing foundations and/or wind turbines, as well as for maintaining and disassembling facilities.

Vestas After securing orders for its offshore wind turbines Vestas, the world's largest wind turbine manufacturer, has confirmed its plans to build a factory in the UK next year. The factory should provide 2000 jobs which will prove once again that investment in the renewable energy industry will create additional jobs on the market.

Siemens Siemens Energy has installed the first prototype of its next generation offshore wind turbine in Høvsøre, Denmark, and has today initiated the first trial operation. The new SWT-6.0-120 wind turbine with a power rating of 6 megawatts (MW) and is believed to significantly reduce the cost for the upcoming offshore wind projects.

The Crown Estate The Crow Estate approved 5 GW offshore wind projects in Scottish waters. The Crown Estate's Scottish Commissioner, Gareth Baird, commented: "The Crown Estate has already invested £16 million in offshore renewable energy in Scotland, and plans to invest another £20 million in the next five years".

Despite all these positive news many challenges remain unsolved: securing the right products and services (at a reasonable price) for instance, still causes numerous problems for most businesses on the market. This is why, key industry leaders from all the above mentioned companies as well as many others are gathering in London on the 28–29 February 2012 to discuss how to reduce the cost of the offshore wind projects in 2012. Leading project managers from the main European utilities as well as C-level representatives from all the sectors of the supply chain will share their experiences and forecasts on how to increase the efficiency of the offshore wind industry by joined efforts and cooperation.

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