The European Union's (EU) goal of obtaining 20% of its electricity from wind energy by 2020 is within reach because wind power's share of total installed capacity has quadrupled in the past 10 years from 2% in 2000 to 9% in 2009, according to the experts at the GL Exchange Forum.
More than 60 people representing shipyards, ship owners, bank investors, and engineering and energy companies heard presentations from and participated in a discussion about offshore wind energy with experts at the forum in Spain.
Although most of the installed wind capacity in the EU has been produced onshore, offshore projects are beginning to a take a larger share of this market, according to Javier Herrador of Navantia, a Spanish shipbuilding firm.
Offshore wind power is still in its infancy, and installations are more complex and costly to put in place than their onshore cousins; however, offshore has advantages, including no negative visual impact or noise, no geography and obstruction restrictions, no land-use disputes or questions of limited land availability, and higher efficiencies, according to Herrador.
As developers require a greater number of turbine installations annually, the offshore wind industry will need to draw deeply on maritime resources. According to Herrador, the shipbuilding industry can play an important role to improve the competitiveness of offshore wind energy technologies and to enable the exploitation of the offshore resources and deep waters' potential.
SOURCE: GL Group