Key insights gleaned from clean power experience - Alicia de Haldevang & Una Brosnan
A little over 25 years ago, our engineers started working on the earliest designs and requirements for an emerging wind energy market. Fast forward to 2019 and our portfolio now includes more than 375 wind turbine generator foundations, over 1000 operational structures, involvement in four floating concepts, and over 19 offshore substations. From the North Sea, Thames Estuary, English Channel, French, German, and Portuguese coastlines, to distant shores of China, Taiwan, Australia and the USA, we’ve gained some key insights to global energy objectives and drivers which help paint a picture of what’s next for the industry.
Government commitment will drive investor stability, and entrench offshore wind as a key player in our energy system
We’re in a global race to reduce carbon emissions, with the UK being the first major economy to set the 2050 net zero target. To reach this ambitious goal, the industry requires commitment from the government to support offshore wind’s huge role in our energy system and drive future investor stability. The cost of wind is dropping through industrialisation (such as serial fabrication), innovation and embracing larger turbines; in 2010 prices stood at £140 per megawatt-hour. Just last week, offshore wind dominated the third UK Contracts for Difference (CDF) auction, and global energy headlines, with 5.5GW of projects securing support starting as low as £39.65 per megawatt-hour. This price sits lower than the current wholesale electricity price in the UK and adds a further 30% cost reduction to the 2017 CFD prices.
The UK accounts for 44% of Europe’s generating capacity; currently we have just over 10,000 wind turbines, with 2000 of them out to sea. We’re recognised as a market influencer and helping take this expertise globally, as big players in the offshore wind market emerge, such as China, USA, Germany, Taiwan, Netherlands, and France. Global government support will continue to reaffirm that offshore wind is a reliable source of energy to consumers.