Giles Dickson, CEO of WindEurope, opened the Floating Offshore Wind Energy event in Marseille. His keynote focused on the industry’s vision to maintain European technological leadership in offshore in the coming decades. Floating offshore wind is coming of age in Europe; with a pipeline of projects approaching the commercialisation of over 300 MW, and a full potential of close to 4,000 MW in European waters, this technology is no longer confined to the lab.
Europe, Dickson stated, must now deploy demonstration projects to deliver a final message of assurance to investors: the costs of floating offshore wind will fall with upcoming volumes, especially in France and the UK; by 2020, the industry expects a 10% cost reduction; a constantly-descending cost curve is anticipated up to 2030, with a cost reduction of 25% firmly establishing floating as a real alternative to bottom-fixed technology.
Dickson emphasised that adding this option to the market increases the chances of more offshore wind coming online. To continue cost reduction pathways, the industry needs to install 4GW/year in the decade 2020-2030. Currently, indicative government ambitions of only 3 countries (UK, DE and NL) after 2023 add up to less than 3GW. Floating offshore wind could fill this gap and thus contribute to overall cost reductions.
He added that the clear areas of complementarity between bottom-fix and floating technologies can only be realised with the right amount of volumes.
Finally, Dickson stressed the importance of early action in deployment within Europe to ensure Europe’s status as worldwide technology leader is maintained. The key players in this technology are European and they require clear signals from governments on their commitment to this technology. Further areas for deployment need to be realised in order to reap the benefits of economies of scale.
For more information on floating offshore, do not miss our Offshore Wind Energy 2017 event in London, 6-8 June.