North Sea Union Potential for Offshore Wind Cost-Reduction

First calculations show that cost-reduction of up to 30% could be achieved by the North Sea countries cooperating on offshore wind roll-out in comparison to each country connecting its own wind farms, according to Lars Barfoed, Board Chairman at Energinet.

Barfoed presenting at CEM. Source: North Sea Wind Power Hub
Barfoed presenting at CEM. Source: North Sea Wind Power Hub

In order to attain the goal, the countries must establish a close degree of planning and coordination, which would considerably reduce infrastructure costs and enable competitive energy prices, Barfoed said at the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) on 24 May representing the North Sea Wind Power Hub Consortium.

Energinet’s Chairman stated that protected areas are of key importance to the ecosystem and a close collaboration between the countries’ stakeholders is necessary to maintain the balance between ecological and climate matters, including a cost-efficient development of wind farms and associated infrastructure.

Barfoed emphasized that up to 15 times more wind production will be found in the North Sea by 2040 than there is today, with the capacity expected to be between 70GW and 150GW, which corresponds to approximately one-fifth of the EU’s power consumption.

The North Sea Wind Power Hub Consortium partners Energinet, Gasunie, Port of Rotterdam, TenneT Netherlands and TenneT Germany have committed to investigating the potential of establishing a large-scale offshore wind collection hub in the North Sea until mid-2019 by studying technical, environmental and market perspectives.

The hub would include the construction of one or more Power Link Islands, which would accommodate a large number of links to wind turbines and/or offshore wind farms and facilitate the distribution and transmission of electricity to the Netherlands, Belgium, the UK, Norway, Germany and Denmark.

Besides investigating the perspectives of the hub as a staging point for offshore wind, the consortium is examining the development of electricity storage and conversion, including offshore-based Power to Gas, which is expected to add value to the harvested offshore wind power.