Global Wind Energy Council Forms Taskforce To Accelerate Offshore Deployment

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The Global Wind Energy Council announced on Wednesday that it would form a new Offshore Wind Taskforce dedicated to accelerating the development of offshore wind technology in non-European markets such as Asia and North America.

Announced on the sidelines of the Global Wind Summit in Hamburg, Germany, the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) announced the formation of the Offshore Wind Taskforce as a means to support the acceleration of global offshore wind deployment in markets outside of the dominant Europe — such as North America and Asia, where countries like the United States and Taiwan are beginning to emerge as the next big destination for offshore wind.

Further, the Taskforce will be chaired by Alastair Dutton — who is partly responsible for the creation of the UK’s successful offshore wind energy industry, serving as the Strategic Programme Manager at the Crown Estate and serving in government at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy — and will be supported by the “father” of the modern wind industry, Henrik Stiesdal, the creator of the first large-scale offshore wind project, who will serve as GWEC’s Global Offshore Wind Ambassador.

“Offshore wind has huge potential in many regions, as the world looks for competitive, zero carbon energy sources that can be deployed at scale and in relatively fast time frames,” said Stiesdal. “However, the industry needs to find the most appropriate technologies for deploying offshore wind in different conditions – for example floating offshore wind in regions with deep water levels, and creating efficient supply chains across the globe.”

The Taskforce will be supported by leading offshore wind energy companies including Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, Iberdrola, Ørsted, and MHI-Vestas, and will be made up of leading developers, investors, and manufacturers from across the sector, as well as technical experts and inter-governmental organizations.

“Offshore wind has already become a mainstream power source in Europe, accounting for the lion’s share of new power capacity in the UK and a significant share in countries such as Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and Denmark,” explained GWEC CEO Ben Backwell. “Now more and more countries are starting to see the advantage of offshore wind, and the technology is in a position to become truly global.”

The Taskforce will look to carry out a range of goals including:

  • Advising governments on regulatory frameworks and tendering systems for offshore wind, including creating an Offshore Wind Policy Toolkit
  • Measuring and highlighting the economic and social benefits of offshore wind deployment and the creation of local supply chains
  • Fostering technology innovation and the testing of new turbines, installation techniques and O&M strategies, including promoting the benefits of digitalization
  • Spreading best practices and the transfer of knowledge from Europe and other established markets to new and developing markets
  • Creating appropriate forums to promote the growth of the global offshore industry, including seminars, technical workshops, conferences and exhibitions.

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Joshua S Hill

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