Source : Bearing Point, 2017

POTENTIAL OF FLOATING WIND

Globally, there is an ever increasing need for renewable energies within the energy mix to limit global warming due to greenhouse gas emissions.

Offshore wind is now a main source of renewable energy.

  • Exponential growth
  • Main sources in the USA, Europe, and Asia
  • Government incentives for conversion

Floating wind will allow to fully exploit this potential, with important development opportunities.

  • Great potential: 80% of offshore wind accessible only with floating structures (CarbonTrust, 2015), representing the equivalent of 4,000 GW or 4,000 nuclear plants
  • Strong perspectives: 12 GW could be installed by 2030 (Equinor, 2019), representing 24 projects of 50 floaters equipped with 10 MW wind turbines

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FIXED AND FLOATING STRUCTURES

There are two different ways to install a wind turbine at sea:

  • On a fixed foundation grounded in the seabed. This solution can be used with water depths up to 50-70 meters. Beyong this limit, the immersed bottom-fixed structure becomes oversized.
  • Alternatively, on a floating structure connected to the seabed with anchoring lines in order to keep the assembly in position, wind turbines can be installed anywhere from 30 meters of water depth onwards.

NECESSITY OF GOING AFLOAT

Limited Impacts

  • Little noise and visual pollution onshore
  • Very limited sea bed impacts, even in complex soils

Increased competitiveness over time compared to bottom-fixed wind 

There is a high potential of cost reduction over time. Indeeed the Levelized Cost of Energy (LCoE) can benefit from

  • Access to better wind quantity and quality (> 8 m/s) at deeper water depths (> 60 meters)
  • More predictable source of energy for a better integration in the grid
  • Reduced installation costs: no need for expensive offshore installation vessels
  • Wind turbine power capacity and efficiency can be increased with technological improvements