Some years ago, the offshore wind industry was primarily a high-priced and tough European adventure. But, mainly as a consequence of intense private-public collaborations in the key countries nearby Irish, North and Baltic seas, this situation has dramatically changed.
Nowadays, the offshore industry is widely recognized as a key component for the future generation mix, proudly showing a flourishing market with a new range of turbines, well-built supply chain and continuously optimized costs.
As a result of this recent market progress, other countries beyond Europe have focused on offshore solutions too, arranging plans for gross spread of this industry mainly in North America and Asia.
As an example, more than 1GW of offshore was installed in China during 2017 and determined programs for offshore expansion, have recently been set in the US for the next decade.
The Indian government has recognized that both the demand for electricity and the need to decarbonize is going to rise steadily and so has defined forceful objectives for 2022. Thus, offshore wind is set to become a relevant sector in the medium and longer-term plans. The areas of Gujarat and Tamil Nadu have already been identified, as places where strong and steady resources of clean energy, can be harvested.
Regarding offshore industrial trends, nowadays 8MW turbines are in operation and the 10MW bar will soon be overstepped, but this is just the beginning. With current technologies, double size wind turbines could be developed, so with expected progress in materials and engineering integration, it is still difficult to imagine where the maximum limit will be.
Ingeteam, as an independent power converter manufacturer, understands the challenges that are driving this offshore industry. Therefore, a robust medium voltage power converter has been developed focusing on a market that demands a low Levelized Cost of Energy (LCoE), without compromising quality or performance in wind turbine platforms that are continuously scaling up. The power conversion line designed by Ingeteam, offers the best relationship between investment and availability.
The offshore wind industry is likely to maintain this fast rate of change, with the permanent aim of producing cost effective solutions, with increasingly efficient operation, easy maintainability and improved reliability.