UK floating wind capacity could reach 20GW by 2050
Floating offshore windfarms could provide up to 20GW of generation capacity by the middle of the century, a study commissioned by the Crown Estate Scotland has found.
The analysis conducted by the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult also suggests they have the potential to add £33.6bn to the UK economy between 2031 and 2050.
“Floating wind is an important counterpart to fixed offshore wind and will make an increasingly important contribution to realising the full potential of the sector,” the report explains. “Longer term, floating wind can contribute at least 10GW towards the UK achieving 50GW of offshore wind capacity by 2050 and large-scale deployment of floating wind will be imperative if the UK is to realise ambitions in excess of 50GW.”
The study looked at two different scenarios – a base case and high case. The UK accounts for a significant share of global installations in both. In the base case, 10GW of floating wind capacity is built in the UK by 2050, whilst 44GW is deployed around the rest of the world. The figures rise to 20GW and 95GW respectively in the high case.
(image courtesy of edie)
In October last year, Scotland’s first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, opened the world’s first floating windfarm located 25 kilometres off the coast of Aberdeenshire.
Stephanie Conesa, policy manager at Scottish Renewables, said: “Scotland’s deep waters, with some of Europe’s strongest winds, provide ideal conditions for the testing and deployment of floating offshore wind turbines, and are part of the reason why our seas are home to Hywind, the world’s first floating wind farm.
“The recent publication of Marine Scotland’s draft Sectoral Marine Plan for Offshore Wind Energy, which sets out potential future locations for offshore wind farms in Scotland’s seas, makes the success of floating offshore wind in Scotland more important than ever. Floating wind provides an enormous economic opportunity for Scotland and its development, as well as that of other earlier-stage technologies, has the potential to provide renewable electricity in locations where other renewable energy devices cannot be deployed.”
She said the 30MW Hywind Scotland project marked an “exciting development for renewable energy in Scotland.” The windfarm has since been upgraded with a 1MW battery storage system dubbed “Batwind”.The batteries will be used to explore how best to maximise the value of the power generated.
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