Pieter van Oord: “We Need to Build Turbines Like We Build Cars”

“We need to build wind turbines like we build cars,” said Pieter van Oord, CEO of Van Oord, at the opening of the Offshore WIND Conference 2017 (OWC17) on 9 October in Amsterdam. 

Photo: Jeroen Tresfon/ Navingo

Europe is projected to have 60GW of installed offshore wind capacity by 2030, which requires adding 5-6GW of offshore wind capacity annually. “Right now, we are adding 3 to 4 gigawatts,Van Oord said, further explaining that the increase in volume will lead to the industrialisation of the supply chain.

Offshore wind has the potential to employ more people by 2040 than the oil & gas industry ever employed. Number of those working in the oil & gas sector is 280,000 while offshore wind has the chance to employ 310,000 people by 2040.

Governments are crucial for the speed of the energy transition and politicians will play an important role in the development of the industry, according to Pieter van Oord.

By 2040, the North Sea alone could reach 230GW of offshore wind capacity, making it the number one source of electricity in Europe, while onshore wind will fall behind a bit due to the “not in my backyard” policy.

However, there are some challenges that offshore wind faces when looking at the post-2030 period, and the major one is storage, according to Van Oord.

Regarding the model by which offshore wind should be delivered after 2030, van Oord says the ideal one is the merchant model, which does not involve subsidies.

Reporting: Adnan Duraković, Offshore WIND; Editing: Offshore WIND Staff