Floating offshore wind is a fast evolving technology with the potential for less foundation material, shortened installation cycle and decommissioning, and additional wind power generation at water depths exceeding 50 m to 60 m. This technology involves an offshore wind turbine mounted on a floating structure that allows the turbine to generate electricity in water depths where bottom-mounted structures are not feasible.
As per industry estimates, the technical potential for floating wind power is around 7,000 GW for Europe, the US and Japan combined. Among the high potential markets, Japan has set an installation target of 4 GW by 2030, followed by around 2 GW in France, US and UK, and 1 GW in Taiwan.
Globally, there are 13 announced floating offshore wind projects (9 in Europe – UK, Portugal and France, 3 in Asia – Japan and Korea and 1 in the US). However, currently the only operational floating wind farm of scale is Hywind Scotland, developed by Equinor and commissioned in October 2017. The farm has 5 floating turbines with a total capacity of 30 MW. Floatgen wind turbine demonstrator, which is installed 22 km off Le Croisic (Loire-Atlantique) in France also became operational in September 2018.
Floating foundations offer the offshore wind industry two key opportunities:
- They allow access to deep-water sites with higher wind resources.
- The floating offshore wind projects can be developed faster with lower foundation requirement and higher energy yield. Upon achieving commercial development and economies of scale, floating wind projects can achieve cost parity with traditional offshore wind projects.
- Floating foundations offer economic and environmental benefits compared with fixed-bottom designs due to less-invasive activity on the seabed during installation.
It is expected that floating wind technology would be a game changer in successful exploitation of the enormous wind potential available in deeper waters.
The report covers floating offshore wind foundations and some of the key developments related to floating wind projects.
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Understand about floating offshore wind foundations.
Identifies some of the key developments related to floating wind projects.