Offshore wind power is set to become one of the world’s largest electricity producers in the next decade as costs fall and turbines grow in size. Up till now turbines standing on the seabed near to the coast in Europe have been seen as the most promising technology for offshore wind farms. But the success of floating machines that can be deployed in deeper water has meant many more coastal communities can benefit. Japan and the US are among the countries with the greatest potential. The speed with which the industry has grown in the last decade has defied all expectations. Large turbines used to have a two to three megawatt output, but now the standard size is 7.5 megawatts and turbines capable of generating up to 10 megawatts are in the pipeline. As a result the output of one offshore turbine is thirty times greater than with the first ones deployed in 1991 − and the cost has fallen to half that of new nuclear power. This, coupled with experience showing that the wind blows more steadily out to sea and produces far more consistent power than turbines on land, has led many more countries to see offshore wind as a major potential source of renewable energy. The turbines have shown themselves to be robust even in extreme storm conditions.
Climate News Network 7th March 2019 read more »
The government will throw its weight behind an expansion in the use of offshore wind power in the hope the renewable energy source will provide a third of the UK’s electricity by 2030. In a deal between the government and the offshore wind sector, industry players have agreed to invest £250m over the next 11 years in exchange for participation in £557m of state subsidies for renewable energy. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) said the deal could result in the number of jobs in offshore wind tripling to 27,000 by 2030, boosting the economies of coastal communities near major projects. The government also hopes the deal will cement Britain’s leading position in the technology and has set a target of boosting exports in the sector fivefold to £2.6bn a year. The UK already hosts the world’s largest offshore windfarm, off the coast of Yorkshire, which began powering the grid a month ago. Reaching a target of more than 30% of electricity coming from offshore wind would also mean that 70% of Britain’s energy would be from renewable sources by the end of the period.
Edie 7th March 2019 read more »
A new government deal with industry could see nearly a third of British electricity generated by offshore wind farms by 2030. If successful, officials say the plan would see more electricity being generated by renewables than fossil fuels for the first time in UK history, with 70 per cent coming from low-carbon sources. Currently offshore wind provides just 7 per cent of British power, but this would be boosted to 30 per cent by the end of the next decade. Not everyone is convinced by the announcement, with some environmentalists warning renewables would have to be scaled up even further as the nation’s nuclear ambitions floundered. According to the government, its promised green power “revolution” would bring 27,000 jobs to the energy sector.
Independent 7th March 2019 read more »
More than half the turbines for the £2,6bn Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Ltd (Bowl) project in the Moray Firth have now been installed. Sixty-six of 84 turbines have been constructed. Once completed, Bowl is expected to be capable of providing enough electricity for up to 450,000 homes. The scheme, which involves SSE and other energy companies, is due to be fully operational by the end of this year. The wind farm site is situated about eight miles (13km) off the east Caithness coast.
BBC 7th March 2019 read more »
A Scottish company saved by investment by a Canadian firm, JV Driver, through its subsidiary DF Barnes, has started work on a contract to manufacture foundations for the Moray East offshore windfarm. Burntisland Fabrications Ltd (BiFab) was awarded a contract by GeoSea to produce monopiles worth up to £26.5M as part of the Moray East offshore windfarm development. Paul Wheelhouse MSP, Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands said, “The award of this contract is great news for BiFab and the wider Isle of Lewis community. “The Scottish Government’s continued support, and collaborative approach with DF Barnes, has helped secure, at peak, 82 good quality jobs for this yard. However, we have always been clear there remains hard work ahead to rebuild the pipeline of work for the business. “It is essential that developers and the wider supply chain look to utilise Scottish content wherever possible from the start, helping our indigenous supply chain become stronger and more competitive that is in the interests of the sector and economic impact is a key consideration as we consider future licensing opportunities and planning applications. “A strong collaborative effort between the Scottish Government and industry is required to ensure that our vision for offshore wind in Scotland is achieved and we maintain our world leading position as innovators in this sector.”
Offshore Wind Journal 8th March 2019 read more »
OFFSHORE workers have raised concerns over the potential effect of the government’s new wind energy plan on secure jobs. The plan, announced today, will ensure that 30 per cent of all new electricity comes from offshore wind by 2030. It is the latest in a series of developments that the government says will move Britain towards reliance on low-carbon sources over the coming decade. However, offshore workers’ union RMT expressed fears that the government’s industrial strategy for wind energy ignores the casualisation of wind industry work, where crew on offshore construction projects can be expected to be paid less than the legal minimum wage of £7.83. General secretary Mick Cash said: “RMT is concerned that the offshore wind industry has already adopted a regressive business model based on subcontracting and deregulation.
Morning Star 7th March 2019 read more »