National Grid Forecasts Offshore Wind Growth

National Grid Forecasts Offshore Wind Growth

The offshore wind sector in the UK has potential to increase over five-fold by 2050, according to research by transmission system operator National Grid

The findings, published in National Grid’s Future Energy Scenarios 2018 report, suggest that offshore wind could reach 43 gigawatts by 2050, up from the current 8 gigawatts, driven by the trend for falling prices bid by offshore wind projects in 2017 contracts for difference (CfD) auctions.

“Wind capacity increases across all scenarios much of this growth is in offshore wind,” the report’s authors said. “We anticipate some positive spillover effects from offshore wind developments. This could include innovation in maintenance and the further growth of supply chains.”

Changing expertise required for breakbulk sector

Considering the various scenarios for growth in the UK energy sector, National Grid highlights increased penetration of offshore wind will also drive demand for higher levels of flexibility supporting investment in new types of projects, such as interconnectors and electricity storage.

“The market will need to adapt to the changing plant mix. Key industry processes are likely to need reviewing, bringing with them opportunities for new services,” the report said.

This changing dynamic in the likely mix of projects is expected to provide a number of opportunities for breakbulk operators, especially those with skills in handling specialized components in growth sectors.

J-Power and Kansai invest in US$2.6 billion Triton Knoll

In line with National Grid’s predictions for growing investment in the UK offshore wind sector, Japanese firms J-Power and Kansai Electric Power said they plan to take major stakes in the US$2.6 billion Triton Knoll Offshore Wind Farm project.

German energy business Innogy is expected to sell a 25 percent stake to J-Power and a 16 percent stake to Kansai Electric Power in the project, located 32 kilometers off the coast of Lincolnshire on England's east coast.

"As we continue to grow our offshore portfolio across the globe, the securing of valued, strategic partnerships is a key objective within our strategy. With J-Power and Kansai Electric Power we have found experienced and reliable partners and we are delighted to be working with them to successfully realize the Triton Knoll Offshore Wind Farm together,” said Hans Bunting, chief operating officer at Innogy.

Photo: Offshore wind farm. Credit: RWE