offshore wind technology opportunities expanding 100 times

The offshore wind technology opportunity is expected to grow 10 times or more from the 18GW in 2019, to over 228GW by 2030 and 1000GW by 2050. Renewable energy is a technology, not a fuel. Like most technologies, the cost of wind has decreased about 8% year on year since the first wind farms of the 1980s.

China has 50% of the global offshore wind, with 17GW added in 2021 alone to add to their existing 9GW. UK is 2nd and Europe 3rd. Many countries including USA and Australia have announced projects.

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World Offshore Wind – IEA figures at this link. IEA

Why the Growth?

  1. Land tenure and leasing costs to owners reduced
  2. Much reduced community opposition
  3. Green field sites – no towns, farms, land clearing needed
  4. Simpler logistics – turbines assembled in size
  5. Ongoing reduction in cost (LCOE)
  6. More reliable and consistent wind making for better energy deliver profile
  7. Cross learning between offshore oil and gas drilling and floating offshore wind.

Macquarie will spin off its 15 gigawatt pipeline of offshore wind farms worldwide into a separate company. It is looking to diversify its capital sources and partners in pursuit of more projects. (AFR Feb 2022)

Offshore Wind Technology Impovements

Onshore wind turbine size and efficiency have improved over years of engineering innovation. Off shore wind has also improved and there are multiple technologies. Floating offshore wind farms have a Levelized cost of energy (LCOE) of more than three times that of fixed-bottom wind farms. Commercial floating wind will arrive sometime near the end of this decade says the UK’s offshore renewable energy development agency (ORE Catapult). They expect the weighted average cost of capital to still be 30% higher than for fixed-bottom offshore farms. Technology from the oil and gas industry provides much experience and understanding.

Ready-to-float: A permanent cost reduction for offshore wind technology
Diagram from https://www.windpowerengineering.com/ready-to-float-a-permanent-cost-reduction-for-offshore-wind/

Offshore Announcements

CountryLocationAmount (GW)YearCost ($US-B) Notes and links
ChinaVarious92020 priorChina has 50% of offshore Forbes review 2022
ChinaVarious172021Added 17 in 2021
AustraliaGreat Southern off Bass Strait AFR Feb 2022
USAMacquari
ScotlandOrkney27.3Macquarie in combo with Total Energies and RIDG (
AustraliaBass, TAS0.32026Nexsphase
AustraliaBunbury2OceanX
AustraliaCliffHead WA1.1Pilot Energy
AustraliaEden Offshore NSW2Ocean X
AustraliaSeadragon1.5Flotation Energy
AustraliaSpinifex, Portland Vic1Alinta
AustraliaStar of South, Woodside, VIC2.220307Copenhagen Infrastructure
AustraliaUlladulla NSW1.8Ocean X
AustraliaPortland Vic0.495AustralisEnergy
AustraliaBinninguo WA0.3Australis Energy
AustraliaWollongong1.52030Bluefloat
AustraliaGreat Southern12030Macquaried Green
AustraliaGreater Gippsland1.4Bluefloat
AustraliaHunter Coast1.52030Bluefloat
AustraliaIllawarra Port Kembla NSW2OceanX
AustraliaNovacastrian, NSW2OceanX
AustraliaSA Bight0.6Australis
KoreaHas 98 projects, 5 built, none operational.
Korea3Equinor EMP Korean plans
Korea9Korea targets 12GW for offshore wind by 2030 and 60GW by 2034
TaiwanMacquarie Corio
UKVarious10 UK Renewable Energy Stats
EuropeVarious15Data from IEA
AustraliaLeuwin, WA32026Copenhagen Energy Plans for WA Also in Philippines, Ireland, has 8GW

Learnings from Oil and Gas

Out-of-plane bending (OPB) - Schematic mooring system component's description
DNV article and illustration from NREL

Latest Offshore Floating Windfarm

The latest venture is highlighted in Offshore.biz. The 88MW Hywind Tampen project will comprise 11 Siemens Gamesa 8 MW wind turbines installed on concrete SPAR-type floating foundations in water depths of between 260 and 300 metres.

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