‘Floating offshore wind is no longer a niche technology’ was the main message of WindEurope CEO Giles Dickson’s statement at the FOWT 2020 event in Marseille.
Photo by øyvind gravås / woldcam © equinor
This year’s edition of the world’s largest event on floating offshore wind turbines, FOWT, started in Marseille (France) on Monday, 7 September.
The three-day FOWT 2020 event brings together experts and policy-makers from Europe and beyond to exchange on the latest developments in floating offshore wind. In a panel discussion on the opening day of the event, WindEurope CEO Giles Dickson pointed towards the huge growth potential of floating wind.
Floating wind has matured and performed significant cost reductions over the past years. Further cost reductions now depend on future volumes. If Europe puts the right policies in place, higher production volumes of floating turbines could decrease the costs for floating offshore wind to 40-60€/MWh by 2030, WindEurope expects.
“The period of demonstration projects is over. Floating wind is ready to scale. The contributions EU countries made in their National Energy and Climate Plans show that the interest in floating wind is high. The NECPs offer visibility for future projects and will trigger new investments. The industry is ready to increase production volumes,” Dickson said.
With the 30 MW Hywind project in Scotland and the 24 MW Windfloat Atlantic project in Portugal, Europe is the global technology leader for floating wind installations. At least seven countries have concrete plans to install floating wind in the next decade. New projects are planned in France, UK, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Italy, and Sweden. Further increasing the pipeline for floating wind projects will be key to exploit floating wind’s cost reduction potential.
Europe wants offshore wind to be 25% of its electricity by 2050. WindEurope analysed the potential for floating offshore wind sites in the Northern Seas, the Atlantic, and the Mediterranean and calculates that 330MW of floating offshore wind can be installed by 2022 and up to 7 GW by 2030. To reach the EU expansion targets, 150 GW of floating turbines could be spinning in Europe by 2050. This would mean that by 2050, up to a third of all offshore wind installations could be floating.