Offshore Wind Cost Reduction Critical Before 2020 (UK)

As offshore wind energy projects evolve and as developers, manufacturers and energy utilities continue to invest, a short-term reduction in costs is unrealistic if the sector is to realise its true potential. This is according to Intertek METOC, specialist marine consultancy that provides impartial advice to the finance, investment and development communities.

With European offshore wind energy markets moving into deeper water, further offshore, short-term project development costs will rise. Moreover, in the medium term, cost reductions should be sought in areas such as standardisation, installation, and operations and maintenance (O&M).

According to the consultancy, that has been working in the offshore energy markets since 1983, key to achieving these cost reductions is sharing and applying industry best practice, with other key offshore energy markets.

Industry wide initiatives are already underway to help achieve cost savings of between 30-50% over the next ten years and Intertek METOC fully endorses this approach. Particularly since it takes into account key cost reduction programmes previously implemented in offshore oil and gas.

Key areas that have been identified, include standardisation of equipment and procedures, streamlining contracts with risk reward sharing, and innovative partnering. This would particularly apply to cable installation, to date one of the main areas of cost over run and insurance claims.

“With growing global concerns over carbon emissions, security of energy supply, volatility in oil markets and dependence on fossil fuels, offshore clean energy power generation is key to the long term future of Europe,” said Frank Beiboer, Managing Director, Intertek METOC.

“The offshore wind industry is still learning, and any forced cost reductions may lead to an increased risk profile in the short term. Rather, by investing up front in different turbine technologies, installation methods and supporting infrastructure, operators and investors are more likely to achieve true long term cost reduction.”

The comments follow news that the business is itself continuing to invest in its growing offshore wind energy division.

Building on a twenty-eight year track record, Intertek METOC has increased its headcount by over 20% in 2011, having won a swathe of offshore renewable and power cable interconnector projects across northwest Europe.

Highlights include feasibility studies for six of the UK Round 3 zones, projects for the first offshore wind round in France, and a power cable interconnector from Norway to the UK..Headquartered in the UK and now a part of Intertek, a global 30,000-

strong testing, inspection, certification, and advisory business, Intertek METOC reduces financial and operational exposure and risk for offshore energy initiatives.

Through the use of focused marine expertise and consultation procedures, the business decreases risk and combines extensive sector knowledge with a personalised and proactive approach. Intertek METOC will be exhibiting at EWEA Offshore 2011, in Amsterdam, stand number 10421


Offshore WIND staff, November 21, 2011