Stockholm, Sweden [RenewableEnergyWorld.com] Still in its youth, Europe’s offshore wind industry has to face sceptics who doubt that manufacturing limitations, plus the still-small number of available installation vessels, mean that the offshore sector will be able to deliver high-volume growth. Yet with over 100 gigawatts of new offshore wind power in the planning pipeline for European waters, high-volume growth is essential.
So key players in Europe’s offshore wind industry have made a written pledge to provide available offshore turbines, foundations, installation and cable-laying vessels, high-voltage DC transmission and R&D. Signatories to the pledge – which include OEMs and utilities – are Acciona Windpower, Airtricity, DONG Energy, EnBW, E.On Climate and Renewables, GE Energy, Iberdrola, Mainstream Renewable Power, EDP Renovables, RES, Siemens, Suzlon, Vattenfall and Vestas, along with EWEA (European Wind Energy Association) President and CEO.
The European Offshore Wind Declaration went public today at the European Offshore Wind Energy Conference being held this week in Stockholm – a gathering with 2000+ delegates and and extensive tradeshow. At today’s opening session, European Commissioner Andris Piebalgs told the audience that one of the starting points for offshore wind should be the contribution it can make to combating climate change.
“In the course of the next three to four decades our electricity generation system needs to become carbon neutral”. He went on: “you have one very clear conclusion: we will need offshore wind energy to deliver our energy and climate policy targets”, assuring the audience that the sector can count on sustained and even increased political support.
As well as pledging its own commitment, the industry is calling on the European Commission to firm up the grid infrastructure that will enable high levels of offshore wind to deliver power across Europe. Signatories of the Declaration are asking the Commission to publish its action plan “Blueprint for a North Sea Grid” to ensure that a European Offshore Grid is financed, built and operated, as well as several other key documents assuring the future of offshore wind.
They are also calling for national regulatory bodies to remove restrictions that prevent wind generators accessing the electyricity grid, and on the European Investment Bank to significantly increase its support by stepping up its financing of offshore wind farms and offshore grids.
EWEA is inviting other industry members to sign the Declaration – visit www.ewea.org/offshore