On 2 September 2021, Glennmont Partners from Nuveen held an online webinar discussing the key evolutions in offshore wind and its continued technological de-risking, developments and introduced some of the emerging new technologies like floating offshore wind. Offshore wind has grown tenfold since 2010 from circa 4 GW globally to 35 GW in 2020. This pace is anticipated only to accelerate given important advancements in technology and construction techniques. The European Commission estimates that total offshore wind installations between 240 and 450 GW will be needed by 2050, and President Biden aims for the USA to add 30GW by 2030. Also, in Asia – Japan, South Korea and Taiwan aim to install significant capacity.
Ignacio Pantojo, Floating Wind Department Manager at Iberdrola Renovables
Ignacio gave an overview over the various floating offshore wind technologies (“FOWT”) and what the main differences are compared to conventional bottom-fix wind farms. Floating wind systems are allowing the industry to move farther offshore towards greater water depths and better capacity factors, therefore enabling to utilise the immense potential of new geographies. The total addressable market is estimated to exceed $ 62bn per current estimates, but this is expected to grow as the technology, markets, and demand for electricity grows worldwide.
Iberdrola has been involved with floating offshore wind technologies for over ten years now and is planning to have its first commercial projects ready in 2021.
Ignacio closed the presentation with arguing that the key to making floating wind farms bankable is the reduction of Levelised Cost of Electricity through the industrialisation of FOWT, the volume of projects as well as the reliability of the first floating projects.
Seb presented some of the key markets and technologies in offshore wind, as well as introduce insightful forecasts on future developments in the wind space, from an increase in average project and wind turbine generator size, trends of offtake costs, to total expenditure developments.
With an ever-growing offshore wind pipeline, the total global has surpassed 533 GW (operational, secured and in development), with Vietnam, China and the UK at the top as near-term growth markets. Of these, floating wind technologies already make up 70 GW and with pipeline locations in Australia, Taiwan, the States and Europe. Additionally, throughout 2020 and into 2021, more countries began to explore offshore wind technology as a solution for future generation.
Seb concluded the webinar with the importance of environmental impact minimisation during the development of offshore wind projects as well as mentioning opportunities of interconnecting offshore wind and hydrogen. With the upsurge in green hydrogen research and development initiatives in the past couple of years, many of the major offshore wind developers have taken leading roles in funding feasibility studies.