by Pekka Pokela
Wind energy is developing fast: we see future investment plans which consist of more than a hundred turbines with a capacity of 12-15 MW reaching almost 400 meters’ height with their rotating turbine blades (hub height of 100-150 m; rotor diameter of 150-250 m) – future giants everywhere on seas! The rapid development was also seen in the Electric City conference organized by Wind Europe and during the visit in Poland at the end of November.
Wind energy production is growing rapidly in Europe: it meets now about 16% of Europe’s electricity demand. The IEA expects wind to be the no. 1 of power in Europe by 2027, and by 2050 it will represent 50% of Europe’s electricity, raising from 220 GW today up to 1,300 GW. In this development, the offshore wind will increase 25-fold. European Commission has an overarching plan for the European Union to be climate neutral by 2050 supported by financial initiatives. These initiatives aim to mobilize “at least” 150 billion euros between 2021 and 2027 and will focus on “regions that are the most carbon-intensive or with the most people working in fossil fuels.”
But when does the offshore wind production price beat that of the onshore wind?
Wind energy has experienced accelerated cost reduction over the years—far greater than predicted. It is studied that the wind energy productions costs are expected to decline over 40% by 2050. This phenomenon together with the enormous financial instruments reflecting the need for urgent climate actions, will give a strong push for wind energy investment. In addition, based on comparative studies regarding the onshore and offshore wind production costs, it is concluded that offshore wind could beat onshore wind before 2030.
Giant companies are in this green transformation battlefield, and renewable assets are their passion. News regarding mergers and acquisitions, deals with renewable assets and new partnerships reveal the urgencies and strategic intentions (e.g. news with Lundin Energy, OX2, Ålandsbanken, Sval Energi). This all is very true – and in a much bigger scale – to Poland, where the rapidly growing offshore wind market provides opportunities for Finnish-Polish cooperation. Poland has an ambitious target to build 11 GW of offshore wind by 2040.
Traditionally we have been saying that “we need to pilot our solutions prior to the export actions”. I’d strongly argue that this is not the case today – we are and must be ready to go global and partner with the best now!
Gaia Consulting Oy, Team Renewable Arctic Finland ecosystem of 21 companies https://teamrenewablearctic.fi/