Europe takes offshore wind pole with $940bn pledge

The offshore wind business community has reacted with glee at yesterday’s near trillion dollar Offshore Renewable Energy Strategy unveiled by the European Union, which will see a 25-fold increase in the sector by 2050.

The $940bn plan, among the most ambitious wind targets ever, will ensure offshore wind will be the number one source of electricity Europe consumes by as early as 2040.

Beefing up offshore wind requires large-scale investment in ports, grids and the supply chain

“With our vast sea basins and industrial leadership, the European Union has all that it needs to rise up to the challenge,” Frans Timmermans, the European Commission’s executive vice-president said yesterday. “Already, offshore renewable energy is a true European success story. We aim to turn it into an even greater opportunity for clean energy, high quality jobs, sustainable growth, and international competitiveness.”

Lobby group WindEurope stated in a release: “The European wind industry is ready to deliver this. But beefing up offshore wind requires large-scale investment in ports, grids and the supply chain.”

WindEurope estimates the continent’s ports will need €6.5bn ($7.7bn) of investments over the next 10 years to handle the growth in offshore wind farms.

“Offshore wind is cheap now but it requires high upfront investments. So minimising financing costs is crucial to keeping overall costs low. Revenue stabilisation is central to this,” commented Giles Dickson, WindEurope’s CEO.

The surging volume of new offshore wind projects have seen many famous names in shipping such as Scorpio, Swire and BW up their focus on the wind turbine installation vessel sector this year.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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