The Floating Wind Joint Industry Project (JIP), managed by the Carbon Trust, has launched a Floating Wind Technology Acceleration Competition to accelerate the development and commercialisation of floating wind
The Carbon Trust, together with 14 leading offshore wind developers represented by the Floating Wind JIP, will select the best ideas with a particular emphasis on mooring systems and operations and maintenance (O&M).
With a fund of £1M (US$1.2M) from the Scottish Government, the competition will award innovations that will drive the floating wind market forward to help meet decarbonisation targets and open up what the trust said is a £32Bn (US$39Bn) market opportunity.
Analysis by the Carbon Trust has shown that while floating offshore wind is a nascent sector, it is forecast to deliver up to 12 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2030. Realising this scale of deployment cost effectively will require innovative solutions to de-risk the technology and reduce costs.
Joint industry partnerships have delivered targeted and effective research and development projects that have contributed to the rapid cost reductions seen across the offshore wind industry over the last decade. However, a number of challenges for the floating offshore wind sector need to be overcome to allow large-scale deployment of this technology.
The objective of the Floating Wind Technology Acceleration Competition is to attract ideas both from the offshore wind industry and other sectors, such as marine, automotive, oil and gas, aerospace, robotics and manufacturing.
The competition is specifically seeking technology to address four key challenge areas:
Innovators will also be able to make applications in a miscellaneous category to enable additional novel ideas to be considered.
The challenge areas were identified through previous work undertaken by the Floating Wind JIP.
The Summary Report from Phase 1 of the Floating Wind JIP summarises the technology challenges in the floating wind sector across electrical systems, mooring systems, infrastructure and logistics.
This report highlighted the need for dedicated solutions for offshore wind mooring systems, in particular using synthetic mooring line materials compared to conventional steel chain or wire moorings, and efficient means of installation and maintenance. The report also identified the need to develop efficient manufacturing processes and develop cost effective means of maintaining floating offshore wind structures.
Scottish Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse said, “I am delighted to announce the Floating Wind Technology Acceleration Competition that Scottish Government are partnering with the Carbon Trust to deliver.
Given that 80% of offshore resource across the world is in deeper water, floating offshore wind will undoubtedly play a key role in renewable generation in the future.
“Finding solutions to the key challenges identified as part of the competition will facilitate faster deployment of commercial-level floating offshore windfarms, allowing this technology to reach its potential.”
Carbon Trust director of offshore wind Jan Matthiesen said, “Offshore wind in Europe has delivered cost reduction at a scale that no one anticipated, cementing its role as a truly competitive energy generation technology. It is now cheaper than building new conventional power plants. Floating wind is a proven technology and promises to be the next renewable power success story, but to meet the scale of ambition we need to accelerate cost reduction.
The competition is also looking for other technologies that will reduce the cost of floating offshore wind, such as reducing installation times, allowing serial fabrication or reducing maintenance requirements. Entries submitted in this category should provide details of the challenge their technology is overcoming.