According to Wind Energy Update, wind farm projects have indicated that costs have stabilized at around £140 / €160 per MWh and regulators have put forward a challenge that offshore wind should reach a LCOE of £100 / €120 MWh by 2020. An achievement of this goals would maximize the size of the industry.
Wind Energy Update further says opportunities for savings across offshore wind finance, technology and supply chain have now been recognized and there are many, diverse ways in which costs can be driven down. The key areas where cost reduction can be achieved in project execution have been identified as the type of foundations, substation design and installation, cable installation and logistical strategy.
However, says the company, the level of cost reduction required won’t happen unless new technology innovations are properly tested in situ to provide developers and financiers with technical assurance before undertaking major multi-billion pound procurement programmes. Offshore wind grid connection is one of the greatest bottlenecks to offshore wind development.
Grid infrastructure, investment and access are key financial challenges in all countries trying to realize offshore wind capacity. In addition, weather and seabed conditions are seen as some of the other, more significant risks. Offshore marine environments often result in complex hurdles and have a huge impact on the construction process. The weather usually provides most of the challenges, especially the harsh winters Europe has been experiencing.
All of these issues along with opportunities will be discussed during the Offshore Wind Construction, Installation and Commissioning Conference October 14-15, 2013 in Hamburg, Germany. According to Wind Energy Update, this area is a hub of offshore wind development. The event will bring together wind installation experts from around the world to share successes and discuss challenges.