The floating offshore wind market appears to be like more likely to be dominated by semi-submersible platforms regardless of the early lead taken by Equinor utilizing spar-buoy expertise.
Figures collated by the analysis agency IHS Markit point out that semi-submersible platforms could possibly be used for a minimum of 163 megawatts out of just about 178 megawatts of floating wind tasks at present financed, consented or utilized for worldwide, probably giving it an early market share above 90 p.c.
The extent of curiosity in semi-submersible platforms far outstrips that for Equinor’s spar-buoy foundations, which helped the Norwegian developer change into the primary to market with its 30-megawatt Hywind Scotland venture, accomplished in 2017.
The most important of the upcoming tasks is the Kincardine Offshore Windfarm, a 50-megawatt plant off the Scottish coast that may use semi-submersible foundations offered by U.S. provider Precept Energy.
A 2-megawatt Vestas turbine began delivering energy to the grid from the Kincardine venture final October. The wind farm, majority owned by Spain’s Cobra Wind, is anticipated to be absolutely operational by 2020.
Together with the Kincardine venture, nearly 104 megawatts of semi-submersible-based floating wind capability could possibly be on-line by the tip of 2020, IHS Markit estimates.
Precept Energy’s early edge
Different sources additionally level to semi-submersible platforms taking the lion’s share of the floating offshore wind market.
Quest Floating Wind Power, a specialist evaluation agency, has catalogued the platforms that will probably be used for 419 floating generators throughout 27 tasks presently deliberate or below improvement.
Of those platforms, 281 will probably be semi-submersibles, 72 will probably be spar-buoys, 32 will probably be semi-spar ideas from Stiesdal Offshore Applied sciences and Saipem, 31 will probably be so-called barge designs, and three will probably be rigidity leg platforms (TLPs).
Quest’s information reveals that the dominance of semi-submersible platforms is for now overwhelmingly all the way down to a single participant: Precept Energy. In addition to having been chosen for Kincardine, Precept Energy’s WindFloat design is already in operation in Portugal and is quickly to enter operation in Japan.
The idea has additionally been slated for 2 tasks that the Danish developer Alpha Wind Power has proposed off the coast of Hawaii. These tasks, every for 408 megawatts and never included within the IHS Markit figures, would contain 102 WindFloat-based generators.
Nevertheless, mentioned Erik Rijkers, director of market improvement and technique at Quest Floating Wind Power, “We all know that Equinor can also be a participant there they usually and others will ultimately stability out with Precept Energy.”
Transferring past oil & gas-based designs
Intense competitors appears inevitable within the nascent floating offshore wind platform market. At the moment there are solely three floating wind power tasks in operation, all in Europe.
However Precept Energy is ready to increase its attain with new platforms going into the ocean off Portugal and Scotland this yr and subsequent.
Subsequent yr, or maybe 2021, will even see a slew of pre-commercial tasks going dwell in France, with floating foundations from Precept Energy, Ideol, Naval Energies and SBM Offshore, Rijkers mentioned.
These early gamers have by and huge copied platform designs much like these utilized in oil and gasoline, he mentioned. However from subsequent yr onwards a brand new technology of designs is ready to enter the water as a part of demonstration tasks.
The platforms will embrace Stiesdal’s TetraSpar in Norway, Aerodyn Engineering’s SCDnezzy and Ideol’s Damping Pool in Japan, Saitec’s SATH and Wunder Hexicon’s multi-turbine platform in Spain and Saipem’s Hexafloat in Eire.
Semi-submersibles’ early dominance of the floating offshore wind market is evident although actual figures for every expertise are open to interpretation due to uncertainty over how floating platform ideas ought to be outlined.
At this stage of the market, there may be virtually no standardization of floating basis designs. A 2015 overview by the U.Ok.-based Carbon Belief, issued on behalf of the Scottish authorities, recognized 31 designs from as many expertise builders.
These had been grouped into 4 broad classes: semi-submersible platforms, spar-buoys, TLPs and multi-turbine or hybrid ideas. Some platform builders are reluctant to evolve to this classification, nonetheless.
For instance, Carbon Belief and IHS Markit each classify the damping pool design promoted by the French agency Ideol as a semi-submersible platform. However the developer claims it’s “a novel barge design.”
Ideol’s chief gross sales and advertising and marketing officer, Bruno Geschier, instructed GTM the patented floater design was getting “super curiosity from builders throughout the globe, notably since its two full-scale demonstrators have confirmed the claims we’ve been making for years.”