GL Garrad Hassan Reviews Offshore Wind Over Last 10 Years

GL Garrad Hassan Reviews Offshore Wind Over Last 10 Years

GL Garrad Hassan, the world’s largest renewable energy advisory organisation and part of the recently merged DNV GL Group today published a landmark document providing exclusive insight into the last ten years of offshore wind.

‘10 Years: 10 Lessons’ is a series of ten thought-provoking essays from experts with personal experience of a decade of progress. The report celebrates ten years since serious technical challenges were overcome to make the world’s first commercial-scale offshore wind farm, Horns Rev, a success. The momentum that is building behind offshore wind in the USA makes AWEA Offshore Windpower 2013 the perfect opportunity to present this publication.

In addition to highlighting the importance of a stable policy framework, ‘10 Years, 10 Lessons’ makes the case that the onus is on the offshore wind industry to clearly and consistently outline the benefits of the technology to achieve and maintain political support. Other conclusions from the essays include the need for realism in market expectations, the value of a strategic approach to planning offshore wind programmes and the significance of more sources capital for the sector.

‘10 Years: 10 Lessons’ is optimistic about the prospects for cost reduction even as wind farms are built in deeper water, further from shore – especially if a more integrated approach is taken to turbine design. Essays on contracting structures and construction risk foresee a multi-contracting future in which an experienced workforce is essential. The report also strongly advocates a collaborative approach to ensuring the safety of offshore workers.

Although the report is a retrospective look at the last ten years, the concluding essay looks ‘over the horizon’ to the next decade and speculates that developments in floating wind turbines and a resource almost too large to measure have the potential to turn offshore wind into a truly global industry.

Garrad Hassan Founder, Andrew Garrad, who first worked on offshore wind in 1980, writes in his foreword the future for offshore wind is bright, although he sounds a note of caution:

“We have been there from the start and learned many lessons – in design, project management, project certification, operations, maintenance and finance. But the single biggest lesson that we have learned is that cost reduction comes with volume and that volume comes with confidence. That confidence is being undermined by regulatory uncertainty which is the biggest threat to our nascent industry today.”

Commenting on the publication, Director of Renewables Advisory within DNV GL Energy, Dr. R.V Ahilan, said:

“We hope ‘10 Years: 10 Lessons’ will be on the reading list of anyone with an interest in offshore wind.

Offshore wind has made great strides, progressing from its first commercial scale deployment to major energy technology in just ten years. The lessons that have been learned installing 2,000 turbines in European waters are directly applicable to new markets for the technology in North America and Asia.

We don’t just want people in these new markets to learn from Europe’s experience; we want them to be inspired by what has been achieved. ‘10 Years: 10 Lessons demonstrates our commitment to the next ten years of offshore wind and beyond.”

You can read the report at the following link.

Press release, October 23, 2013; Image: gl