Building a supply chain for offshore wind power

» By | Published 30 Nov 2011

By the end of this year 4 GW of offshore wind power will be connected to Europe’s electricity grids – but the sector has some way to go if it is to meet its 40 GW target by 2020, just nine years away. Ports, vessels, turbines and cables – are all vital elements of the supply chain that must be boosted in the years to come.

‘The supply chain has to ramp up, but it’s very good at doing that,’ said Colin Morgan from Garrad Hassan, speaking at OFFSHORE 2011 on the launch of EWEA’s new offshore report. It will be developed in time to reach 2020 targets, but having a good supply of high voltage subsea cables is currently a potential obstacle to this, he added. ‘We are concerned that these are not being made’, he said highlighting the opportunities in the sector for new players.

Jacopo Moccia from EWEA said that there is a healthy supply of offshore wind turbines, but these are just one element of the supply chain. The supply chain holds a host of business opportunties, he said.

Europacable said today they welcome EWEA’s report. ‘To secure global technology leadership, the industry is willing to continue investing in production facilities in Europe including for submarine applications. But Europacable calls on policy makers to provide a stable and reliable framework to accompany the industry’s investments,’ Europacable said.

Between 2020 and 2030 a futher 110 GW of offshore wind energy capacity is expected to be added in European waters, EWEA’s report reveals. 150 GW of wind power would produce 562 TerraWatt hours of electricity annually – enough to cover 14% of the EU’s 2030 electricity demand and cut CO2 emissions by 315 million tonnes.

Still to come at OFFSHORE 2011 – a session on public acceptance of offshore wind ‘not in my back water’ and a special film preview of US film ‘Cape Spin’…