Floating Offshore Wind Can Deliver Competitive Energy

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Floating offshore wind could deliver cost effective, secure, and safe renewable energy for the UK from the mid 2020s according to new research.

A new report published by the UK’s Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) has concluded that floating offshore wind could deliver a levelized cost of energy (LCOE) of less than £85/MWh from the mid-2020s onward, making it cost-competitive with some of the lowest-cost forms of energy generation currently available.

Floating-Wind-InfographicWEBFurthermore, according to analysis carried out by researchers at ETI, floating offshore wind could deliver these benefits without the need for subsidy, as long as technology and supply chain development is firm. Additionally, development of floating offshore wind technology will need to make use of the ample close-shore locations and proximity to power users in an effort to cut down on operations and maintenance costs.

“UK wind resources are abundant and are already being exploited, with the country having the world’s highest offshore wind capacity,” explained Stuart Bradley, Strategy Manager, Offshore Renewables at the ETI and the report’s author. “Developing floating technology can provide access to additional high quality wind resources in deeper waters, relatively close to the UK shoreline and near centres of population which will help bring costs down further.”

Given the variety of offshore depths surrounding the UK, floating offshore wind turbines could be a real boost to an already flourishing industry. However, as the report points out, there is currently “insufficient revenue from power generation alone to encourage new step-out offshore technologies to be demonstrated at full scale,” resulting in a need for further investment to spur innovation. Such investment will need to happen soon, as well, if deployment at scale is to become a a possibility.

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Joshua S Hill

I'm a Christian, a nerd, a geek, and I believe that we're pretty quickly directing planet-Earth into hell in a handbasket! I also write for Fantasy Book Review (.co.uk), and can be found writing articles for a variety of other sites. Check me out at about.me for more.

Joshua S Hill has 4403 posts and counting. See all posts by Joshua S Hill

12 thoughts on “Floating Offshore Wind Can Deliver Competitive Energy

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  • Why should British electricity consumers be the ones to pay for moving floating wind down its learning curve? The North Sea is large and shallow, so fixed platforms do the job at a known and acceptable cost. It has been reasonable for the UK to pay a good share of the pioneering costs for fixed offshore. It’s the turn of Japan and the USA to shoulder the burden for floating, which they need much more.

    • Maybe they want to capitalise on their experience with offshore wind and develop the floating wind turbine tech before anyone else and start charging the Japanese and USians licensing fees to use their technology?

      • No, It’s so the government can give it away to anyone who wants to make any money out of it if previous technologies are any guide. 🙁

        The British electricity consumers have long been seen as captive payers. I hope it’s changing now as those who get Solar panels installed at home can drop out of the paying to a certain extent.

        • What a noble and generous spirit your leaders have. Truly your green and pleasant land has a munificence that becomes you to all.

          • The main problem is that we are running out of family silver to give away, so we have to go out and buy it back from those people we gave it to in the past.

          • So says every citizen of every nation, now, past and future.

          • You are correct jeffhre – I think I need to change *my* thinking and not think just about nations, but about the complete world as a whole.

            Here’s an odd thought – Companies/Nations owe money to other Companies/Nations who in turn owe money to other Companies/Nations etc.

            If we were to examine that debt linkage, could we arrange it so that we give some money to Company A which uses it to pay Company B who pays company C etc until a company pays company A who gives us our money back. This would wipe out all that circular debt.

          • “This would wipe out all that circular debt.”

            LOL! Yeah, uh, I think I’ll let you execute that one!

  • Is this a report to justify putting off install more on-shore wind now?

    • “Is this a report to justify putting off install more on-shore wind now?”

      I hope not. The world needs more wind power before the “mid 2020s”.

      I want to see wind turbines onshore and offshore all along the Atlantic coasts of France, Spain, and Portugal.

  • Thanks Josh for reporting on floating offshore. I can wait to see some success in this area off Hawaii and Japan. UK is interested in it for Western Seas and Ireland, where it would help because Ireland has less transmission ties to Britain.

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