Portugal Charts Offshore Wind Path

The Portuguese Government has approved the Industrial Strategy for Ocean Renewable Energies (EI-ERO) with the aim of developing the country’s offshore wind potential.

Image source: Principle Power

Based on the more conservative scenario, the government projects that by 2020 the ocean energy sector could generate EUR 254 million in investment, EUR 280 million in gross value added, EUR 119 million in trade, as well as 1,500 new jobs.

According to EI-ERO, ocean renewable energies have the potential to supply 25% of the electricity consumed annually in Portugal and create a new export chain in these new technologies.

The potential for offshore wind installation in the country is much more significant for floating turbines (40 GW), than for fixed ones (1.4 to 3.5 GW), according to EI-ERO, due to the distance to the coast needed for the reduction of the visual impact of the turbines and due to the slope of the continental shelf.

Looking at the exporting opportunities, Portugal plans to secure a portion of the offshore wind market expected to be valued EUR 227 billion by 2030. Portugal sees its chance in sectors the country is already active in, such as the production of foundations and turbine towers, which is expected to be worth EUR 39 billion by 2030. The government projects that potential exports could increase the current employment in the active sectors by ten times, with the greatest potential for exports seen in the development of the floating wind technology.

In terms of active offshore wind projects in Portugal, in November 2016, the Council of Ministers in Portugal gave the green light to the development of the WindFloat Atlantic (WFA) project in Viana do Castelo, 20km off the coast of Northern Portugal, which is scheduled to be operational next year.

When it comes to the developments in the country’s supply chain, ASM Industries has signed a concession agreement with the Port of Aveiro Administration (APA), and will start building a new industrial production unit dedicated to offshore wind in January 2018. The company will also set up ASM Offshore, an autonomous business unit for manufacturing of offshore wind towers and foundation.