Could 2021 be a tipping point for energy transition initiatives in Europe – TGS insights
In business, it is said that momentum is crucial. That being the case, it looks like 2021 could be the start of a bumper year for the offshore wind industry. Already this year there have been a number of eye-catching announcements that indicate a positive direction of travel for the sector and bodes well for considerable growth in the near-term and the years beyond.
Offshore Wind Hitting The News
Firstly, there was a rush of bids in a major auction of developers vying for seabed plots made available to build new offshore windfarms off the coasts of England and Wales. Two wind farm sites within the Irish sea have reportedly enticed a fierce bidding war, with energy firms offering to pay as much as £200m for each of the sites – attracting a total revenue of £400m a year. The licenses carry a validity of 10 years, which means that the auction will raise at least £4bn over the coming decade.
Next, the Danish government confirmed that it had taken a majority stake in a £25 billion artificial ‘energy island,’ due to be built 50 miles (80km) offshore, in the middle of the North Sea. The energy hub in the North Sea will be the largest construction project in Danish history and will significantly contribute to the massive potential for European offshore wind. Alongside an additional wind hub on the Baltic island of Bornholm, the two hubs will initially support 5GW of wind generation and triple Denmark’s current installed offshore wind. Capacity expects to expand to as much as The third major announcement concerns Shell and an agreement it has signed with Irish marine renewables developer, Simply Blue Energy. It is due to acquire a 51%t share in a floating wind farm to be built in the vicinity of the Kinsale gas fields off the southern Irish coast, which are presently undergoing decommissioning. As floating wind technology can be installed in deep waters, it will allow this development – under the name, the Emerald Project – to be sited between 35 km and 60 km offshore, while reducing any visual impact. The first phase will include 15-25 turbines and 300MW of installed capacity is planned initially, with the potential to scale-up to a total installed capacity of 1GW – equivalent to powering 800,000 homes.12GW. Announcements from the Danish government state that it will work with private sector partners to accelerate the process and enable wind generation to be brought online in short order.
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