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ISSN 2753-7757 (Online)

Add hydrogen to unlock the potential of floating offshore wind


6 min read

Sea support vessel steering away from floating offshore wind turbine with other floating turbines in distance Photo: ERM
The ERM Dolphyn design for a floating offshore wind system features an electrolyser installed for hydrogen to be fed into a trunk line through array pipelines

Photo: ERM

Investment in shared offshore hydrogen transmission infrastructure could unlock the potential of deep offshore wind energy, explains David Wickham, Hydrogen Consultant with ERM.

In order to reach net zero targets by 2050, the UK will require significant increases in installed renewable energy production capacity and long-term storage to meet inter-seasonal heating demand. Fortunately, the UK is well-positioned with a plethora of offshore wind resources. However, the majority are located in deepwater regions well away from the shore, with an estimated 790 GW in water depths of 50–100 metres and 1,030 GW in water depths exceeding 100 metres.


Due to these depths, floating offshore wind is one of very few economically feasible ways to harness this energy resource and is therefore set to play a vital role in the decarbonisation of the UK economy. As these wind farms will be located far away from shore, implementing appropriate infrastructure to take the energy from production source to demand will be critical to generating sufficient green energy in a net zero future.


Here we explore the use of appropriate hydrogen infrastructure and how its technical and economic characteristics can help unlock floating offshore wind.


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