According to one industry expert, the offshore wind farm will be the next market to develop in Europe, while remaining overcome some challenges.
The offshore wind sector in Europe is in the final take-off phase. Since installing the first wind turbines off the coast of Denmark in 1991, the process of adapting wind turbine technology to the marine environment has been strengthened thanks to political support from several countries to develop this source of renewable energy production.
Currently in Europe there are more than 100 GW of offshore wind projects in various stages of planning, which will position the continent as a world leader in this renewable technology. If realized, these plans will produce 10% of EU electricity, avoiding the emission of 200 million tonnes of CO2 a year.
Will the new boom of wind energy due to the large potential of offshore wind energy in the world. After many years of being just a project and a target, this energy has become more promising after a contest UK resolved to install 25,000 MW of offshore along its shores. Only this program involves more than 12-fold increase installed capacity in the world today, that barely exceeds 2,000 MW.
The pioneer Denmark, followed by Germany, the Netherlands and the Nordic countries are not far behind and prepare their own plans as an incentive for these facilities to help them meet the 20% of consumption that have to meet with renewable energy in 2020, as committed the EU.
At the moment, as has been advanced, the lead is worn by northern European countries. They have perfect conditions. Industrial country, with commitments on renewable energy consumption in the medium term and their ability to install onshore wind power is limited by market saturation and lack of places with good wind resource.
On the other hand, have a wide continental shelf with depths less than 50 meters to 100 kilometers away from the coast. The offshore action is better, we could estimate that up to double the land. The most bet on offshore wind power is the United Kingdom, which analyzes such as the investment bank Nomura designated as the country most offshore monopolize power in 2020.
Offshore wind there twice but the investment required is also higher. In a wind farm on land 70% of the cost is the turbine and other infrastructure. At sea, this changes radically and connections become the most expensive and most difficult. The operation of an offshore plant maintenance is more like an oil rig a wind farm that land. In the end, depending on various conditions, is approximately two times more expensive than a ground facility. In this sense, Ingeteam is ready not only to develop the technology for wind energy, but it is to carry out maintenance of offshore windmills.
Spain, despite enjoying the 4,872 miles of coastline, is not going to be as easy as its European neighbors. Need a little more time, research, and regulatory networks to reach their goal. Offshore wind energy in our country collides with these challenges are very relevant.
In the final energy mix proposed by the Government in 2020, offshore wind has a goal of 5,000 megawatts installed in that year. In April last year, the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism published the Strategic Environmental Study of the Spanish coast, known as the ocean wind map. In this detail the areas suitable for the installation of these parks. However, there is enough uncertainty to be resolved, not only on procedural matters but also on the technical and economic feasibility of such projects.
The specific conditions in Spain mean that this energy can have here a medium-term development. Further research is needed on technologies floating in expert system decision support for the operation and maintenance, and new equipment based on state control of the machine.
Also need a better understanding of the behavior of wind on floating structures, a new generation of high-power turbines (10-20 MW), as well as infrastructure development and manufacturing processes, including ships and port facilities or other systems to overcome the problems of the Spanish continental shelf. The depth of the sea rises quickly and this makes it difficult and more expensive parks. We should add another problem, the needs for evacuation to the grid of electricity produced.