Floating wind will play an important role in decarbonising the global energy system, contributing 2% of the world’s power supply by 2050, according to a new report from DNV GL
Fast growth in floating wind will undoubtedly take place, DNV GL believes, but the risk management and quality assurance company believes more comprehensive industry standards and risk management are required for the technology to scale. DNV GL said the cost of floating wind will fall approximately 70% by 2050 to a global average of €40 MWh (US$48 MWh) and offer new opportunities to players in the offshore wind, oil and gas and maritime industries as they shift their portfolios to become less dependent on fossil fuels.
The report documents how learnings from established offshore industries will be important for floating wind. In particular, standardisation and risk management will be essential to build stakeholder confidence.
DNV GL group president and chief executive Remi Eriksen said, “We know that floating wind is technically feasible. The challenge now is to move rapidly to commercial deployments.
“There is a wealth of expertise to call on. The know-how from bottom fixed offshore wind, the competences of shipyards, and of oil and gas contractors all broadly align with the technical, logistical and operational challenges of floating wind.”
As part of an in-depth analysis of the global energy landscape published in its recent Energy Transition Outlook 2020, DNV GL forecasts a strong future scenario for floating wind energy. Its model predicted that the installed capacity of floating wind would grow from 100 MW today to 250 GW in 2050 – a 2000-fold increase.
Unrestrained by ocean depth, it will be an especially attractive option to bring wind power in reach of much more of the world’s population including the mega cities of Asia Pacific, DNV GL said.
Although DNV GL does not expect the average cost to be less than for than bottom-fixed wind, the price difference will narrow as both fall. Key to these savings will be the introduction of larger turbines, larger windfarms, significant technology developments and the creation of a highly cost-competitive supply chain.
DNV GL floating wind lead Magnus Ebbesen said, “There is a lot of room for innovation and optimisation, but also for brand new solutions. That brings some risk, but risks that can be managed and minimised. With an evolving technology, flexibility and forward thinking are imperative. Get it right, and floating wind presents a very attractive opportunity with healthy returns – for investors and the planet.”