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Monday 26 June 2017
26 June 2017 - NEWS UPDATE
Renewable Energy

Floating turbines could power Europe four times over

Floating wind turbines in North Sea deep waters alone could power Europe four times over, a new report claims. Deep water wind turbines are key to unlocking the massive energy potential in Europe's Atlantic and Mediterranean seas and the deepest parts of the North Sea, says the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA).

floatingturbine

Potential of floating turbines

Offshore wind in Europe could be providing 145 million households with renewable electricity and employing 318,000 people by 2030, while providing energy security, technology exports, and no greenhouse gases.

"To allow this sector to realise its potential and deliver major benefits for Europe, a clear and stable legislative framework for after 2020 - based on a binding 2030 renewable energy target - is vital. This must be backed by an industrial strategy for offshore wind including support for R&D", said Jacopo Moccia, Head of Policy Analysis at EWEA.

This technology is cost-competitive with standard fixed-bottom offshore turbines from 50 metres water depth, the report finds.

If the requirements are met, the first full-scale deep offshore wind farms could be producing power by 2017, up from the two floating turbines currently supplying electricity from European waters.

Offshore wind is one of the fastest growing maritime sectors. Its installed capacity was 5 GW at end 2012, and by 2020 this could be eight times higher, at 40 GW, meeting 4% of European electricity demand.

By 2030, offshore wind capacity could total 150 GW, meeting 14% of the EU's total electricity consumption.

However, for this to happen, a supportive legislative framework is needed, and new offshore designs must be developed for deep water in order to tap the large wind potential of the Atlantic, Mediterranean and deep North Sea waters.

Current commercial substructures are economically limited to maximum water depths of 40m to 50m. The 'deep offshore' environment starts at water depths greater than 50m.

In the foreword of the report Maria Damanaki, European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries says: "Europe is the most maritime of all continents. The European seas and oceans offer considerable and untapped economic potential. Nevertheless, they also pose a formidable policy challenge to decision makers.

"We the European Commission, and the Member States, want to take up this challenge. The maritime economy can no longer remain on the sidelines of the 2020 strategy. We are in times that require new think- ing and the maritime dimension must be integrated into the European vision for green growth.

"Offshore wind plays a key role in the maritime economy. It is an emerging and booming industry, ready to renew the industrial fabric of our regions and create jobs. By 2020, offshore wind could grow substantially, providing electricity to almost 39 million households, if we support its development. And this will go much further beyond 2020, in part thanks to the deployment of floating offshore turbines."

Read the report at: www.ewea.org/report/deep-water

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