Offshore wind: How to grow faster
Written by Daniel Miravalles, Head of Business development
The Global Offshore Wind Conference in London offered a broad discussion on different technological solutions for a faster, sustainable, and profitable development of the offshore wind industry. Two topics grabbed the most attention in the audience: floating offshore wind and green hydrogen.
Develop in parallel
Beate Myking, SVP Renewable Solutions at Equinor, pointed out that if we want to meet the ambitious net-zero goal, we need to develop floating offshore wind in parallel with bottom fixed. We can already see a fast development of floating solutions in Asia, with concepts that can be brought back to the European fields.
Can´t wait for perfect solutions
Robert Duncalf, Head of UK, US & Strategic Projects in Ørsted’s Hydrogen business, reflected on the need to start green hydrogen production: “We have been talking about offshore wind for the last 15 years, but the net-zero target changes it all. This is the push we needed. We cannot wait for the perfect solution for hydrogen production. It would be a lost opportunity”.
He pointed out that electrification should be the preferred solution, but it is not always an option. Here green hydrogen can be a good solution.
Furthermore, Stephen Wyatt, director of R&D at ORE Catapult, reminded the audience that we can aim to export hydrogen in the same way that we export hydrocarbons.
Cluster members participated in the panels and discussions, like Equinor (Beate Myking and Anders Ystad), Aker Solutions (Stephen Bull), ABB AS, 4 Subsea, Altas Copco Tools, Fugro, Technip FMC, Subsea 7, Schlumberger, Siemens Energy, and Oceaneering.
We enjoyed a good dialogue with other clusters, like the Scottish Cluster Deepwind (Paul O’Brien), GCE Ocean Technology (Kai Stoltz), and Norwep (David Ottesen). The Royal Norwegian Embassy in London played an important role as host for a networking reception between Norwegian and British companies.
- The degree of local content is a great concern in every country. However, the transformation of an already strong supply chain based on the oil and gas experience and safety standards also opens opportunities abroad for Norwegian companies.
- The offshore wind industry is highly concerned about the availability of a skilled workforce. The communication between industry and education must already start when our future generations start their education. We need to create interest in the jobs that will be needed in 15 years.
- Building the grid is critical, and according to Anders Ystad, Head of Policy and Markets at Equinor, an under-communicated challenge. Mid and long-term solutions were also presented, like the energy islands that Denmark is developing in the Baltic Sea and Bornholm, with a target of 10GW and 2GW respectively.