April 14, 2021

Awani Review

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U.S. Expansion Plans: Incentives for offshore wind energy

Status: 04/07/2021 8:46 am

Power generation at sea is becoming more and more important. Not only energy suppliers but also oil companies are involved in the billion dollar market. The industry has great hopes in the United States.

Nodker Blechner, tagesschau.de

US President Joe Biden gives hope for better business in the renewable energy sector. With his two-trillion-dollar plan to expand infrastructure in the United States, he should provide strong impetus to the market. Only twelve billion dollars should flow into the expansion of seawater energy. By 2030, green electricity is to be delivered to ten million homes from large parks on the east and west coasts.

“America is gaining extra momentum now,” said Andreas Noun, boss of Siemens Games. In early 2020, the wind turbine manufacturer collected nearly one-fifth of its new orders in the United States.

PP and Equiner projects

Recently a large order came in from Virginia. Siemens offers Kamsa turbines to the largest marine wind farm in the United States. It is expected to provide electricity to a good 600,000 households by 2026.

PP and the Norwegian energy company Equinor also have big plans. They both build huge windmills off the coasts of New York and Massachusetts. By 2030, these should produce a good 50 gigawatts – which is more than the current total capacity of British wind turbines.

By far, Great Britain is considered to be the largest sea air market in the world. The United Kingdom plans to generate one-third of its electricity from wind from the North Sea by 2030. RWE and EnBW recently received awards each for two offshore wind projects.

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“Green deal” in Europa

A lot is happening in the EU as well. Brussels has decided on a trillion euro “green deal”. One focus is on expanding wind energy from the shores of the ocean. By 2030, the capacity of marine wind farms in Europe is expected to increase fivefold to 60 gigawatts. So far it is twelve gigawatts. By 2050, farms with a production of 300 gigawatts should also be established. In addition, 40 gigawatts of wave and wave power will come from power plants and floating wind and solar systems.

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), marine wind power could become the most important power supplier in Europe in 20 years. The IEA predicts that their share will rise from two percent today to 25 percent.

Reliable predictions

Experts around the world see tremendous growth potential. Henrik Bowlson, head of Arstet, predicts that the global seawater market will grow sixfold in this decade, and is now the operator of the world’s largest marine farms. The Danish company manufactures a quarter of all wind turbines in the oceans.

Orsted was once in the oil and gas business and was known as Dong. The Danish company played only a small role in the competition with “Big Oil”. Four years ago, Dong sold its fossil fuel business and focused entirely on renewable energy.

“May accelerate epidemic turnaround”

Like Arst, other oil companies are now increasingly trying to get into the sea wind business because they expect the oil boom to end soon. “Corona infection could accelerate the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energies,” says PP Energy Outlook. BP and Shell have announced that they will invest billions in wind and solar energy. PP wants to generate 50 gigawatts of green electricity by 2030. One focus should be the sea breeze.

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The French Total Group also has ambitious plans. Every year the French want to invest three billion dollars in the green electricity business. By 2025, the group already wants to generate 35 gigawatts of renewable capacity. Totally dependent on sea wind energy in the Mediterranean and Asia. A few weeks ago, the oil company and the Australian bank Macquarie put forward plans to build floating wind turbines off the coast of South Korea.

More competition for RWE, Siemens and Vestas

The expansion of “Big Oil” into renewable energies could turn competition in the marine market back into fuel. So far, apart from Arst, Siemens Camza, RWE and Vestas have dominated the market. RWE intends to invest five billion euros in renewable energy by the end of 2022 and has 13 gigawatts of green power systems in its portfolio.

Price war and cost pressure will increase. Costs for sea wind turbines are reduced by almost six percent each year. In the coming years, the first wind farms will be connected to the grid, and its operators no longer want to use the subsidies.

Wind ahead of coal power for the first time in 2020

In Germany, however, there has been a slowdown in recent expansion. Over the past year, only 32 sea turbines with a capacity of 219 MW have been connected to the grid. Nevertheless, the share of wind energy in the German electric mix increased. Due to the corona, electricity demand fell, which was largely covered by renewable energy. For the first time, wind power – along with coastal systems on land and at sea – is the most important domestic energy source; Wind turbines produced more energy than coal-fired power plants. Tenders for wind farms are currently operating in three areas off the German coast, to be completed by 2026.

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Industry representatives, who discussed the prospects for the coming years at a digital event at the Hamburg Sea Wind Conference on Wednesday, are demanding clear structural conditions from politicians to further expand marine parks along the Baltic and North Seas. “We need a very clear political signal to achieve the expansion goals,” said Stephen Thimm, managing director of the Federal Association of Wind Farm Operators Offshore. According to the federal government’s plans, German marine wind farms are expected to provide 20 gigawatts of electricity by 2030. So far it is only 7.8 GW.