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News, Press2007

Lessons learned on offshore wind – and the next steps

06.12.2007

Berlin, Thursday 6 December 2007 - From initial site selection through to planning, installation and operation, today’s offshore wind industry covers a wide range of disciplines, expertise and industrial sectors. Specific case studies and lessons learned from all of these areas were presented on the final day of the European Offshore Wind Conference in Berlin, to help future projects be delivered faster and more efficiently.

This morning, delegates learned more about big offshore projects, with presentations examining the different phases in the development of a project, from site selection to government go-ahead to placing the turbines in the sea.

The Egmond aan Zee wind farm was the first big wind farm to be built in the North Sea off the Dutch coast, while Burbo Bank in the UK is a 90 MW capacity farm, officially inaugurated in October 2007, which has monopile foundations and 3.6 MW turbines. Lillgrund is Sweden’s only offshore farm, based in the shallow Oresund Channel.

The offshore wind research platform FINO1, set up four years ago in the North Sea off Germany to investigate the offshore environment, was presented to delegates. The platform looks at wind and wave conditions and determines the effects of future offshore wind farms on marine flora and fauna.

Participants also learned about the German energy agency’s research project, entitled “Case Study of European Offshore Wind Farms". The project presents and evaluates experiences from planning and development procedures at eight offshore wind farms in different EU countries, with the aim of reducing costs and increasing efficiency.

Conference participants heard about the various different lessons learned from these case studies. They listened to recommendations from companies involved in offshore projects that can ensure the success of future plans. Some of these lessons include:

  • Everything possible – tests, pre-assembly of components – should be done onshore, at the port, in the factory or logistics centre, before going to sea.
  • Detailed pre-construction planning of the different project phases is crucial
  • Time should be left between the various phases
  • Establish a good, cooperative relationship with clients and sub-contractors
  • It is important to gain public acceptance – to provide information about the project so that the public is well informed
  • Impact assessments for visibility of turbines should be performed
  • Have a strong health and safety focus, to reduce the risk of accidents
  • Putting in place a quality assurance programme for supplies and construction is key

The 2007 European offshore wind conference in Berlin drew to a close this afternoon on these lessons learned for the future, and Germany handed over the role as host to Sweden, where the next edition of the conference will be held in Stockholm on 14-16 September 2009.

Matthias Rapp, Chief Executive of the Swedish Wind Energy Association, said, “We are proud that EWEA has chosen Stockholm to host the next European Offshore Wind Conference in 2009. Sweden is one of the few EU member states that have the potential to contribute to the substantial offshore development that is necessary to meet the renewable energy target for Europe in 2020.”

The Berlin event was a great success, with more than 2000 participants attending the sessions, and 120 exhibitors offering a range of services and solutions in the fast-expanding offshore wind market.

Crucial steps forward in the development of offshore wind have been taken this week at the conference in Berlin, notably the announcement by the Commission of an action plan for offshore wind energy. This is key to meeting the 20% renewables target.
Also of great importance is the signing of the Joint Declaration for research cooperation by Sweden, Denmark and Germany.

“The three days of discussions and presentations at the European offshore wind energy conference have amply demonstrated the power and potential of this form of energy. Europe must now prioritise clean technologies such as offshore wind in order to meet its renewables objective”, concluded conference chair, Kaj Lindvig.

For more photos and information on the conference, please click here

Note to editors

EWEA is the voice of the wind industry, actively promoting the utilisation of wind power in Europe and worldwide. It now has over 350 members from 40 countries including manufacturers with a 98% share of the world wind power market, plus component suppliers, research institutes, contractors, national wind and renewables associations, developers, electricity providers, finance and insurance companies and consultants. This combined strength makes EWEA the world’s largest and most powerful wind energy network.

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