“We don’t need new innovations, we have to use the ones that already exist,” said wind energy pioneer Henrik Stiesdal in his concluding keynote at the 15th Hamburg Offshore Wind Conference (HOW), “many decision-makers in our industry are still male and somewhat inflexible. We urgently need to change that. We can consider ourselves lucky to be working in the wind industry, and ultimately for the preservation of the earth.” These were the slightly emotional words that closed HOW 2018. In the Empire Riverside Hotel Hamburg roughly 200 participants attentively followed the presentations and panel discussions on the hotly debated topical trends in the offshore sector during the one and a half day conference.
In his keynote the CEO of WindEurope, Giles Dickson, vividly explained the connections between the market volume for offshore wind and the expected innovativeness, and therefore decreasing generation costs for offshore wind power. He said that the currently planned average expansion capacity in Germany of somewhat more than 700 MW per annum could and should be boosted significantly. He also considers it necessary for further development of the European offshore market that the nations of Europe achieve a total expansion volume of at least 6 GW per annum. Dickson believes that the conspicuous cost reductions in recent years, for example the zero bids, will make this easy.
Influence of the electricity market on offshore wind
More renewable electricity in the grid means lower an electricity price in the long term, explained Claas Hülsen, electricity market expert at DNV GL, in his speech at the panel discussion “Love it or hate it…! Offshore wind and the dependency on the power market.” He added that the increase in 0-ct bids in the tenders would reduce the number of potential auction participants. In principle, all discussion participants agreed that even the large turbine manufacturers must focus to a greater extent on the developments in the electricity market and react to them with their plant designs.
Future markets for offshore wind
“Since 2012, politicians in Taiwan have been pursuing a highly active and consistent line in expanding offshore wind energy,” explained Achim Berge Olsen, CEO of WPD. Besides Taiwan, the Netherlands and the USA also offer attractive prospects for the offshore industry. 13 new zones with 15 GW potential were recently designated, reported Liz Burdock, Business Network for Offshore Wind. She added that the local content regulations do not represent a barrier in this area.
The 16th HOW, organised by the Renewable Cluster and DNV GL, will take place on 2 and 3 April 2019 in Hamburg.