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ISSN 2753-7757 (Online)

Digitalisation – one key to unlocking the potential of offshore wind

27/7/2022

6 min read

Hywind Tamplen floating wind farm with turbine in foreground and Gullfaks platform in background Photo: Equinor
Hywind Tampen floating wind farm and the Gullfaks platform

Photo: Equinor

Digital solutions can help offshore wind farms ramp up capacity to meet demand for clean electricity, while optimising costs and efficiency. Andrew Gough from ABB Energy Industries in the UK explains how, and takes us inside the 800 MW Hywind Tampen floating wind project, which will help to power offshore oil and gas platforms.

Offshore wind development within Europe and around the world stands at a crossroads. On the one hand, integrating offshore wind as a renewable energy source is recognised as fundamental to global efforts to decarbonise industry and wider society, facilitate the transition from fossil fuels to clean energy and limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C in line with the goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement.

 

Indeed, since the first offshore wind farm was installed off the coast of Denmark three decades ago, the global market has grown rapidly. Offshore wind generation grew by 29%, or 25 TWh, in 2020. Offshore wind farms utilise one of the earth’s most abundant natural resources to provide clean electricity to millions and, unlike renewables such as solar PV, hydro and nuclear, are largely immune from ‘nimbyism’ (‘not in my back yard’) since the infrastructure is built far away from homes.

 

Add to this the fact that both technology costs and the price of electricity per megawatt hour from offshore wind are falling dramatically compared with onshore wind generation, and in many regions worldwide offshore wind is now a cost-effective alternative to other forms of power generation.

 

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