Floating offshore wind 2018

Floating offshore wind 2018, which concluded in London yesterday, is an internationally- flavoured event with perhaps a more diverse feel to it than the Crown Estate’s offshore industry engagement session earlier in the week.  Following my recent article floating-offshore-wind-revisited garnering significant interest, I thought I’d share five key takeaways:

1 Hywind has been a remarkable success boasting a 56% capacity factor in its first full year of production – and there is scope to drive this upwards towards 60%.

2. Equinor is developing an innovative oil and gas /floating offshore wind concept at Tampen combining the powering of an existing installation with a floating wind farm.  The industry is watching to see how apparent infrastructure synergies can be exploited.

3. Floating offshore wind is still regarded as a ‘novel’ technology and therefore attracts a premium when it comes to attracting finance. There is a pathway to cost reductions with modularisation and economies of scale likely to drive down costs – as it has with fixed foundations.

4. California is moving ahead with a subsidy- free offering and investigating opportunities around solar and generation profiles and also dispatchability.

5. Scotland’s upcoming licencing round is being watched with great interest by those present.

So, an upbeat conference buoyed by the success of early demonstration concepts but mindful that challenges lie ahead on the route to global commercialisation and deployment.


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