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Offshore wind must accelerate early development phases to support busiest year to date – Youwind

Barcelona, 30th January 2024 — With European offshore wind leasing rounds potentially set to award over 80GW in new projects by 2029, offshore wind developers and investors need to significantly increase the pace of analysis for market and site attractiveness, resource availability, and project selection.  That is according to Youwind Renewables, a unique web-based solution for optimising early-stage offshore wind development.

Despite a volatile year for offshore wind development in 2023, where interest rate rises, and commodity price increases led to the abandonment of auctions where bid prices were deemed too low for returns, and the cancellation of initial offtake agreements, a record number of offshore wind development zones will be allocated globally in 2024 -2025, driven by national clean energy development targets.

But, in order to realise project timelines, developers and their investor partners increasingly need a fast and reliable means of screening early-stage projects to ensure optimal decision-making in the deployment of capital.

By offering a solution that enables developers to rapidly assess project location, wind resource, project layout – including wake losses – and the best installation sequence, Youwind’s technology provides the offshore wind industry with a route to reducing the overall time taken for project site screening by up to 80% – significantly accelerating the project development cycle.

To date, Youwind has been used to analyse over 1000 offshore wind project sites, screening development zones amounting to more than 250TW of potential installed capacity, worldwide.

“2023 was a tumultuous year for global offshore wind, but with Government targets for Net Zero requiring significantly increased volumes of offshore wind generating capacity to become operational between 2030 – 2050, auctions held in the next two years are critical to the next 20 years of development,” said Anna Rivera, Chief Executive Officer, Youwind.

“With so many different conditions to consider prior to progressing projects into the full development cycle, however – not only by domestic country tariff and policy, but also wind resource and site location – developers and investors need to rapidly assess project locations in order to swiftly take a final investment decision.”

“With the possibility that some of these projects will run into permitting and financing challenges later in the development cycle, there is a real imperative to ensure that sites are screened not only as efficiently as possible at this stage, but also at a level that ensures critical future development questions are covered as early as possible.”

“We know that offshore wind has the potential to significantly drive the decarbonisation of global power supplies, but if we’re to support the industry in overcoming its current challenges, then we need to give developers and investors the tools to expedite the decision-making on which projects to take forward.”

Developer, Copenhagen Energy, has adopted Youwind to support its screening of offshore wind project sites worldwide.

Speaking on its deployment of the technology, Jasmin Bejdic, Founder & CEO, Copenhagen Energy, said: “Our strategy is to be an early mover in new high potential markets – developing large-scale offshore wind on a global scale. A fundamental part of this is to be able to act fast, make intelligent site selection and screening decisions and then accelerate the development phases to deliver maximum value to local communities and our stakeholders. Youwind is a solution that is fully aligned with our objectives.”

In an industry that has grappled with continued permitting delays, Youwind provides agile development teams like Copenhagen Energy with the ability to deploy a ‘one-stop-shop’ solution to cover the requirements of each early-stage development phase and the specific needs of each project team, run complex development scenarios and remove the need to manage multiple data sources.

Youwind, built by engineers with over 15 years of first-hand experience in developing offshore wind projects, integrates engineering and cost data to efficiently model key technical and financial indicators and assess the viability of projects. The entirely web-based solution offers distinct tools to analyse and optimise each proposed project design, helping to inform the financing and development of projects that meet the financial expectations of investors.

These tools are backed up by a project development database, encompassing everything from wind resource and power curves, through to GIS layers, locational data on neighbouring projects, and all offshore wind equipment and components. As offshore wind projects continue to scale in size, technology, and global territory, Youwind offers a trusted single solution for taking projects rapidly to final investment decision.