This 2023 Thought Leadership series will take stock of recent energy sector events in what has been, and still is, an unprecedented and tumultuous period. Over the coming weeks we will look at the opportunities and challenges we foresee in the sectors we work in, how we can help you progress and be successful in your sustainability journey and shine a spotlight on some key expertise areas where our trusted advisors are leading the way. This article takes a closer look at the Offshore Renewables sector.
Earlier in 2022, The Crown Estate Scotland awarded 17 option agreements representing nearly 25 GW in its ScotWind offshore wind lease auction at strike prices making many of these projects viable. A total of just under £700 mn will be paid by the successful applicants in option fees and passed to the Scottish government for public spending as well as the expectation of a multibillion supply chain investment in Scotland. Key winners include Scottish Power Renewables, Shell, BP and SSE but with many more companies benefitting.
The impacts of this step change in forecasted capacity have already impacted the latest Network Options Assessment. Further to this, close examination of the outputs of the Offshore Transmission Network Review will be required to understand what solutions may be needed to facilitate this unprecedented pipeline of generation. The proportion of floating wind versus fixed bed has also been worthy of note; being able to qualify for Contracts for Differences (CfD) in its own pot.
Floating Offshore Wind
Floating Offshore Wind is rapidly emerging as a significant global opportunity. After a decade of early stage commercial deployment and testing, pathfinder markets like South Korea and the United Kingdom are demonstrating that the technology is ready to deliver at scale, with a wealth of would-be developers keen to bring schemes forward, when the right policy frameworks are put in place. The technology is also opening new opportunities in the Mediterranean areas filling a gap in countries like France, Greece and Italy all looking at the wind resources offshore so far untouched.
Supply chain and resource limitations
These could stifle project development – from materials to people power. There is still a fundamental need for the energy industry to act on dramatic lack of diversity in their workforce across the board.
Floating offshore wind will see new depths and project designs, bringing a reshuffle of consenting hurdles and need for specialist expertise. The Crown Estate’s leasing process for floating wind in the Celtic Sea is expected to launch mid-2023 and is anticipated to deliver 4 GW of floating wind farms by 2035.
Celtic Sea. Reports from the Welsh Government, ORE Catapult and The Crown Estate point to vital innovations in transmission infrastructure to enable access to the grid, capacity support and installation of floating wind in constrained offshore environments. Collaboration and multi-disciplinary technical support will be crucial to meeting the regional capacity expectations and to maintain local supply chain support.
The c 4.5 GW Innovation and Targeted Oil & Gas leasing round is expected in April 2023, focusing on offshore wind projects that will directly reduce emissions from oil and gas production and boost further innovation.
Offshore wind power cable systems
The increasing scale and complexity of offshore wind projects creates a number of challenges for offshore wind farm cable systems. Steady state current ratings typically used to define cable sizing invariably leads to an over designed cable system. ITPEnergised has developed a dynamic cable rating tool as part of its Net Zero Accelerator® digital platform that models cable thermal behaviour considering wind resource over time.
A growing number of our clients are using our unique approach in the market that leads to significant downsizing of export cable systems with capital savings in the order of £10s millions and the ability to influence the project investment decision.
Successful navigation of the offshore renewables sector in 2023
As a trusted advisor, ITPEnergised is well positioned to offer a wide range of experience and unique intelligence on all phases of offshore projects. We can support clients from day one on cable systems as well as grid connections; our GIS tools have been refined to prepare feasibility studies with the most updated data and to identify obstacles at an early stage of any development. Our experience in planning and EIA regulation in the UK and abroad provides useful insights to prospective developers and ensures that the correlation between the mitigation requirements and severity of consent conditions and the constructability of offshore renewables schemes are never underestimated.
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For more information or a chat about any of the above, please reach out to Emanuele Stella, Head of Offshore Renewables at email@example.com.