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Floating offshore wind is gearing up for take-off

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Floating wind has matured and significantly reduced costs over the last few years.

If Europe implements the right policies, higher production volumes of floating turbines could reduce the cost of 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.”

Giles Dickson, WindEurope CEO.

With its 30 MW Hywind project in Scotland and its 24 MW Windfloat Atlantic project in Portugal, Europe is the world’s leading technology provider for floating wind installations.

At least seven countries have concrete plans to install floating winds in the next decade. New projects are planned in France, the United Kingdom, Norway, Portugal, Spain , Italy and Sweden. A further increase in the pipeline for floating wind projects will be key to exploiting the potential for cost reduction of floating wind.

Europe wants offshore wind to account for 25 percent of its electricity by 2050. WindEurope has analyzed the potential for offshore wind turbines to float in the Northern Seas, the Atlantic and the Mediterranean and estimates that 330 MW of floating offshore wind can be installed by 2022 and up to 7 GW by 2030.

In order to meet the EU expansion targets, 150 GW of floating turbines could rotate in Europe by 2050. This would mean that up to a third of all offshore wind installations could be floating by 2050.

Today, 62 MW of floating wind capacity in Europe still represent a small share of total offshore installations. But floating wind technology is increasing the potential for electricity generation from offshore wind farms.

But floating wind technology is increasing the potential for electricity generation from offshore wind farms. While bottom-fixed installations are limited to low-water shorelines and favorable sea-bed conditions, floating offshore winds appear to have unlimited global growth potential.

Rapidly increasing governments around the world’s interest in floating technologies, most recently in South Korea, offers huge international growth opportunities for the European wind industry.

“In a decarbonizing world, floating offshore wind is an essential source for large volumes of green electricity. Europe must make use of its first-mover advantage. We have pioneered bottom-fixed offshore wind and now we are leading in floating. The next months can be decisive for offshore wind. Europe’s recovery packages and the funds earmarked for green technologies could help to build up a strong and future-oriented floating wind industry. And the EU Offshore Renewable Energy Strategy will detail the regulatory framework for the further expansion of floating wind. Member States and the European Union have the chance to show that they are serious about floating wind.”

Giles Dickson, WindEurope CEO.
Nedim Husomanovic

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