Carbon Trust Project Targets European Offshore Wind
The Carbon Trust has entered into a research program designed to reduce the costs of offshore wind energy in Europe.
The program is part of its Offshore Wind Accelerator program designed to improve the levelized cost of energy from offshore wind by reducing costs, improving efficiency and availability of existing and future offshore wind farms.
Nine of the largest offshore wind developers in Europe: DONG Energy, EnBW, E.ON, Iberdrola, RWE, SSE, Statkraft, Statoil and Vattenfall have signed up to the program. Over the next four years the developers will collectively invest at least £6.4 million ($8.3 million), boosted by a further £1.5 million ($1.9 million) from the Scottish Government, to bring new innovations to market that will help to ensure that the typical cost of offshore wind is below £100 ($130) per MWh by 2020.
“Over the last five years the cost of energy from offshore wind has decreased significantly, largely driven by a combination of innovation, risk reduction and increased deployment rates,” said Tom Delay, Chief Executive Officer of the Carbon Trust. “But we need to continue building on this success by getting the right solutions into market quickly to put offshore wind on the path to cost competitiveness by 2020.”
The Offshore Wind Accelerator program, originally created in 2008, has been a driving force behind a range of new innovations such as; developing and demonstrating new foundations; the development and adoption of 66kV cabling; improving wind resource measurement and modelling and new innovative access vessels. Over the last eight years, it has delivered over 125 projects, ranging from feasibility studies to multimillion-pound, full-scale technology demonstrations.
Following a record year for installations in 2015, the European Wind Energy Association estimates that over 20GW of offshore wind will be deployed in Europe by 2020.
Offshore Wind Accelerator partners including RWE, E.ON, Vattenfall and Statoil were among a group of companies who published an open letter earlier this month, outlining a pledge to cut the cost of offshore wind farms to make them a competitive source of electricity generation. The declaration set out an ambition to reach €80 ($0.88) per megawatt hour by 2025.