pes presents half a dozen lessons, which if heeded in future offshore projects, together with the other parts of the offshore wind ecosystem, we can make for smoother, quicker, and cheaper installations and ultimately, better windfarms for the production of clean energy.
Over the years we have all heard much about the potential of offshore wind as an energy source. Now, in 2009, the industry has finally reached a position to begin realising much of that potential. The projections for offshore wind are staggering: currently there are plans for almost 40GW of offshore wind energy in the UK, and as is well known, Denmark and the UK currently lead the world in installed offshore capacity.
In Germany, where the first offshore windfarm is expected to be powering German homes and communities by the end of this year, the expectation is that by 2030, 15% of German electricity consumption will come from offshore wind. Around the North Sea, many countries have set similar targets for themselves; the European Wind Energy Association has a projected target of 40GW offshore by 2020. These are huge, challenging goals that recognise the potential of offshore wind as a key part of any attempt to move away from our dependence on fossil fuels.
Part of any successful offshore wind farm is the proper project design, installation, burial and eventual maintenance of inter-field cables, export cables and inter-connectors. Launched in June of this year, Seabed Power (a joint venture between two premier marine engineering companies, Visser & Smit Marine Contracting and Global Marine Systems Ltd.) is an operator that is servicing this massive sector. The company delivers power-cabling solutions from the landfall to subsea for the power and offshore renewable energy markets, and has over 200 years’ experience in the installation and maintenance of all types of subsea cables.