Have we just witnessed Britain simply not wake up early enough to take the lead on offshore wind construction? Or is Germany just making proactive strides to get the edge on those late Brits?
More than 20 offshore wind parks have been approved in the North Sea and three more in the Baltic, all outside the 12 nautical mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). Inside the EEZ, four wind parks have been approved in the North Sea and two in the Baltic. In total, there are 4,700 turbines planned to be installed in the North Sea (capacity of 21,400 MW) and 508 turbines in the Baltics (capacity of 2,368 MW). Germany has already seen the completion of Alpha Ventus and BARD1 wind farms, both of which use some of the most advanced wind power equipment operational today.
Jon Harman, Head of Offshore Business at Wind Energy Update commented at a recent industry gathering on the state of the upcoming offshore wind projects “Many industry experts believe offshore wind construction in the North Sea is going to be a real challenge for the industry”.
“With company preparations for wind projects ramping up, the need for answers on the offshore grid, financing and robust training programs in the region is critical. Germany appears to have really stepped up to the challenge with active Government support and serious industry movement” he adds.
The installation of offshore wind farms in hostile, far shore, deep water environments can be a costly, technically difficult and potentially hazardous experience for both the company and its workforce. If costs are to remain within budget then careful plans, pre-construction preparation, supplier and contractor selection are all equally essential. In order to do that successfully a number of issues must be addressed. Now in its 4th year, the original Offshore Wind Construction, Installation and Commissioning conference (OWCIC) will examine and suggest solutions to these exact challenges.
OWCIC comes this year, not to London but to Hamburg, Germany – the hive of offshore excitement for the next 5 years according to a recent Wind Energy Update survey. This construction specific conference will bring together the key developers, utilities, contractors, government representatives, and many more. Confirmed participants include E.ON Climate & Renewables, Vattenfall, Mainstream Renewable Power, BARD, RWE, C-Power, TenneT, and 50 Hertz. For the full list visit the conference website http://bit.ly/OWCIC2012
For more event details, or to contact the organisers visit: http://www.windenergyupdate.com/farshore-installation/index.php