With the development of offshore wind industry on the United States’ horizon, the country is embarking on a journey Europe has been on for a while now, and is facing the same challenges, especially when it comes to reducing the cost of electricity generated by turbines at sea.
On the other hand, companies with expertise gained across other sectors, but valuable for the evolving industry, can find a new playing field in offshore wind and benefit from its vast supply chain potential.
The US can draw on the experience European offshore wind sector has, and join the continuing endeavour to further reduce the cost of offshore wind energy, as well as find a way to engage its industrial sector and thus boost the economy on both local and national levels.
Oil and gas industry meets offshore wind
The integration of oil and gas businesses within the offshore wind industry has a greater history in Europe than in the US, where the first offshore wind farm is still under construction.
Globally, the oil and gas industry has taken a downturn, and secondary suppliers in the O&G sector are finding themselves with surplus capacity. This softening of the market could be an opportunity to diversify into the emerging offshore wind industry.
As there are many engineering and technical similarities between the offshore equipment used in the O&G industry and the offshore wind sector, some of the existing investments may find secondary use in the offshore wind industry.
In 2010, Douglas-Westwood issued a report titled ”A guide to Offshore Wind and Oil & Gas Capability” for Scottish Enterprise. This report has been superseded by BVG Associates’ report that provides an updated version with comparisons of both O&G as well as the UK offshore wind in the North Sea.
A webinar on the O&G integration within OW
The Business Network for Offshore Wind (BizMDOSW) and Maine Ocean & Wind Industry Initiative (MOWI) co-hosted a webinar in March 2016, discussing correlations between the oil & gas and the offshore wind industry which could potentially lead to increased competitiveness in the offshore wind sector and lower the levelized cost of electricity (LCOE).
The “Report from the Field: How the Oil & Gas Industry Complements Offshore Wind” webinar included participants from Denmark’s OffshoreEnergy.dk, BVG Associates, and the US-based O&G company, Keystone Engineering.
BVG Associates shared how its new report analyzes the different phases in the overall life cycle of the offshore wind facility and made parallels to the opportunities and possible cost savings from engaged O&G suppliers.
OffshoreEnergy.dk used the webinar to present Denmark’s integrated supply chain which services both the O&G and the offshore wind market, and illustrated how this had impacted the second tier supply chain businesses including the SMEs.
Keystone Engineering, a firm that is already tapping into the US offshore wind potential, described its experiences to date and thoughts for the future market.
With thanks to BizMDOSW.