The governments of Germany, Belgium and Denmark came together with industry partners this week to commit to deploying 60 GW of offshore wind power in Europe from 2020-2030.
A signing ceremony for the joint statement took place at the opening of Offshore Wind Energy 2017 in London, organized by WindEurope and RenewableUK. Representing the countries were Marie-Christine Marghem, minister of energy, environment and sustainable development in Belgium; Rainer Baake, state secretary for energy for the Federal Ministry of Economy and Energy in Germany; and Kristoffer Böttzauw, deputy permanent secretary for the Ministry of Energy, Utilities and Climate in Denmark.
According to WindEurope, the industry has been on a steep cost-reduction curve and has met its self-imposed target of EUR 100/MWh by 2020. Further, winning bids of auctions in the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark delivered up to a 48% cost reduction compared with projects just two years ago, the association says, adding that delivering further cost reductions will require the deployment of significant volumes of new offshore wind.
However, says WindEurope, most governments in Europe have not yet defined clear plans for how much new offshore they intend to deploy, especially beyond 2023. Therefore, the industry called upon European governments to collectively ensure there is 60 GW – or at least 4 GW per year of new deployment – in the decade after 2020. Going beyond 4 GW per year would enable the industry to become fully competitive with new conventional generation ahead of 2030, according to WindEurope.
To deliver on these volumes, the signatories committed to build on public-private cooperation to facilitate investments in projects and associated infrastructure. They also pledged to call upon the European Commission to mobilize dedicated funding for strategic joint projects for offshore wind energy.
“We will continue with technological innovation, testing and industrialization to reduce costs going forward,” comments Michael Hannibal, CEO of offshore wind for Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy. “But it’s absolutely necessary to have sufficiently large volumes for offshore wind deployment. We need to build on the joint statement and create a strong market for offshore wind in Europe. This will deliver sustainable offshore wind energy to society and allow manufacturers to maintain global technology leadership.”
Jens Tommerup, CEO of MHI Vestas Offshore Wind, adds, “Quite simply, the future vitality of offshore wind depends on clear and consistent volumes in the market. Visible and reliable deployment targets will unleash investments and competition in the market. And they will drive technological breakthroughs and the continued globalization of the industry.”