Offshore Wind Powerhouses Call For 4GW-a-Year Tempo Post 2020

  • Authorities & Government

The governments of Germany, Belgium and Denmark came together with offshore wind industry captains in signing a Joint Statement to further the deployment of offshore wind energy in Europe.

The industry has been on a steep cost reduction curve and has met its self-imposed target of EUR 100/MWh by 2020 ahead of time. Winning bids of auctions in the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark delivered up to 48% cost reduction compared to projects just two years ago.

Delivering further cost reductions will require the deployment of significant volumes of new offshore wind. But most governments in Europe have still to define clear plans for how much new offshore they intend to deploy, notably beyond 2023.

The industry therefore calls on European governments to collectively ensure there is 60GW, or at least 4GW per year of new deployment in the decade after 2020. Going beyond 4GW per year would enable the industry to become fully competitive with new conventional generation ahead of 2030.

Samuel Leupold, CEO, DONG Energy Wind Power, said: “More than ever, we need countries to coordinate and lay out a clear vision. A visible and steady pipeline of projects between 2020 and 2030 will allow for continued cost reductions, a thriving supply chain and continued European leadership in an increasingly international market for offshore wind. We welcome the joint statement and call on other governments to commit to robust volumes.”

To deliver on these volumes, government and industry signatories committed to build on public-private cooperation to facilitate investments in projects and associated infrastructure. Crucially, they pledged to work towards the necessary European framework supporting Europe’s common renewable energy trajectories in part by calling on the European Commission to mobilise dedicated funding for strategic joint projects for offshore wind energy.

Michael Hannibal, CEO Offshore, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, said: “We will continue with technological innovation, testing and industrialisation to reduce costs going forward. But it’s absolutely necessary to have sufficiently large volumes for offshore wind deployment. We need to build on the Joint Statement and create a strong market for offshore wind in Europe. This will deliver sustainable offshore wind energy to society and allow manufacturers to maintain global technology leadership.”

60 GW, which the industry intends to deploy between 2020 and 2030, represents only a fraction of the potential of offshore wind energy in Europe.

According to a new resource assessment by BVG Associates released today, offshore wind could in theory generate between 2,600 TWh and 6,000 TWh per year at a competitive cost – EUR 65/MWh or below, including grid connection and using the technologies that will have developed by 2030. This economically attractive resource potential would represent between 80% and 180% of the EU’s total electricity demand.

Jens Tommerup, CEO, MHI Vestas Offshore Wind, said: “Quite simply, the future vitality of offshore wind depends on clear and consistent volumes in the market. Visible and reliable deployment targets will unleash investments and competition in the market. And they will drive technological breakthroughs and the continued globalisation of the industry.”

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