Industry associations in the UK will work together to decide how to adopt floating offshore wind and take advantage of a potentially huge international market.
In partnership with Scottish Renewables, RenewableUK has launched a new industry group to set out the offshore wind industry’s strategy for large-scale deployment of floating windfarms in the UK.
A new group, the Floating Wind Steering Group, will meet regularly aiming to produce a vision for the future of floating wind, and the business case for its continued development in the UK. The group includes representatives from developers and supply chain companies, and from regions around the UK.
Following their Cost of Energy Review, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy is currently developing a White Paper which will update the UK Government’s electricity strategy. The floating offshore wind industry wants the White Paper to recognise the opportunity for the UK to pioneer new technology and industrial opportunities for the regions.
Floating offshore wind was mentioned in the Offshore Wind Sector Deal, and the industry recognises that new technology will be valuable in helping the government reach 50 GW of offshore wind generation by 2050.
RenewableUK deputy chief executive Emma Pinchbeck said, “The UK has a unique opportunity to pioneer a new technology which has a truly global potential. Industry leaders are working together to ensure that government seizes that opportunity. As we step up decarbonisation of the energy system, competitive new technologies like floating wind will be good for consumers.”
Scottish Renewables deputy chief executive Jenny Hogan said, “Innovation is key to the long-term growth set out in the Offshore Wind Sector Deal and floating turbines will open up new areas in deeper waters, particularly off the coast of Scotland with new sites for development currently being considered. Globally, much of the offshore wind potential is in deeper waters that will need floating technology, so this sector offers new industrial opportunities across the UK.”
The vast majority of offshore wind in the UK has been installed using foundations fixed directly to the seabed, which are easily installed in shallower waters. The world’s first floating offshore windfarm, the 30-MW Hywind Scotland project, was opened by Equinor and Masdar off the coast of Peterhead in late 2017.
Since then, the first turbine has been installed at the Kincardine floating windfarm off the coast of Aberdeenshire, which will have a capacity of 50 MW when fully constructed.
“The UK’s existing leadership in offshore energy and our abundant natural resources makes our waters the ideal test bed for this new technology, which has huge international potential as other countries seek to take advantage of the renewables boom,” the associations concluded.