German’s electricity grid regulator approved bids to build what will be the first offshore wind farms that depend entirely on market prices instead of government support and subsidy.
Big oil is starting to challenge the biggest utilities in the race to erect wind turbines at sea. Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Statoil ASA and Eni SpA are moving into multi-billion-dollar offshore wind farms in the North Sea and beyond. They’re starting to score victories against leading power suppliers including Dong Energy A/S and Vattenfall AB in competitive auctions for power purchase contracts, which have developed a specialty in anchoring massive turbines on the seabed. The oil companies have many reasons to move into the industry. They’ve spent decades building oil projects offshore, and that business is winding down in some areas where older fields have drained. Returns from wind farms are predictable and underpinned by government-regulated electricity prices. And fossil fuel executives want to get a piece of the clean-energy business as forecasts emerge that renewables will eat into their market.
Sweden's state-owned utility Vattenfall will use 1,000 lithium ion batteries supplied by BMW Group to provide energy storage at some of the power company's wind power facilities.
Units of the commodities trader Vitol Group and the renewables investment fund Low Carbon Ltd. said they’d invest 250 million pounds ($311 million) to develop energy storage and distributed power-generation projects in the U.K.
While the EU has seen a remarkable increase in offshore wind, a Swedish project in the Baltic Sea has been cancelled due to a growing threat from Russia. What would have been a gigantic two-nuclear-plant-sized (2 GW) offshore wind farm in the Baltic Sea; Blekinge Offshore AB was denied its permit in December due to recent heightened tensions in the region.
The Carbon Trust’s Offshore Wind Accelerator (OWA) last week launched a global innovation competition to fund the development of offshore wind cable condition monitoring systems.
Macquarie Group Ltd. bought a 50 percent stake in the Race Bank offshore wind farm being developed in the U.K. North Sea from Dong Energy A/S for 1.6 billion pounds ($2 billion).
The increasing size of wind turbines captures much of the attention surrounding that evolution, but the substructures that support the tower, nacelle and blades, are not to be overlooked, and are proving equally vital in reducing overall project costs.
A new report from the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) — Global Wind Energy Outlook 2016 — forecasts highly promising growth for wind power capacity around the world going into the future.
The barriers to offshore wind are formidable. Yet, after many years of delays and cost increases, there are signs of progress. Offshore wind bids coming out of Europe suggest that steep cost reductions are at hand; the most recent of those bids, for a 350 MW near-shore project off the coast of Denmark, came in at a record-low of just $67 per MWh. These and other developments hold promise for further cost reductions in the years and decades ahead.