Offshore wind power to gain momentum

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Offshore windmills

Offshore wind power to gain momentum

  • Five-year outlook encouraging for the offshore wind sector
  • Increases in scale help spread risks and cut costs
  • Efforts to increase the sustainability of the energy mix entering a new phase

The Netherlands to step up offshore wind farm construction

Construction of offshore wind farms in Europe is visibly increasing. Although the United Kingdom and Germany are leading the way, ABN AMRO expects the Netherlands to step up its efforts in this area. This is the conclusion presented in the report Offshore wind in our sails right now that was published on Wednesday, 2 September. According to ABN AMRO’s calculations, by 2030 8% of Europe’s power will come from offshore wind farms. As the focus shifts to more sustainable energy, the Dutch offshore industry appears to be adapting easily. With the knowhow that the offshore oil and gas sector possesses of deep-sea drilling and constructing platforms at sea, the country has an edge with new services for installing and providing maintenance for wind turbines at sea and the Dutch offshore wind sector is gaining in prominence.

Consortiums spreading risks and reducing costs

Over the next five years, the Netherlands will put out contracts for new wind farms representing a total output of 3,500MW. This will give the country almost twenty times as much offshore wind power, boosting the capacity from 228MW to 4,500MW. A new trend will be visible in these contracts, ABN AMRO believes: increasingly, tenders in the offshore wind industry are submitted by consortiums of contractors, each with a separate subcontract. These consortiums mean less risk for the individual parties, with the added benefits of shared knowhow and experience and reduced costs. This will lead to more efficient and cheaper offshore wind power. Ultimately, the industry and the government hope to cut the cost by around 40%.

On-going investments in renewable energy unavoidable

The European environmental objectives can only be realised if continued investments are made in renewable energy, to reduce the amount of fossil fuels in the energy mix. “The target that the Netherlands has defined is that by 2050 the country will only generate sustainable energy. This demands a major energy transition. The ambition to gradually phase out fossil fuels for generating power is entering a new era,” says Hans van Cleef, Senior Sector Economist Energy at ABN AMRO. “Expectations are high for the climate conference in Paris: hopefully it will produce concrete targets for further reducing the use of fossil fuels worldwide.”

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