More floating wind projects to come
Due to the success of the two floating wind projects launched in October, it is expected that more will open in the future.
Statoil launched the world’s first floating wind farm off the coast of Scotland on 18 October that will generate 30MW of energy, enough to power 20,000 homes.
In France, the 2MW Floatgen facility was launched on the Atlantic Coast, which was the country’s first offshore wind farm.
Now commercial floating wind farms are planned to be commissioned in the UK, Ireland, France, and Portugal.
It is expected that wider deployment will lead to lower costs because of projects profiting from installation experience, economies of series, and the rise in confidence from investors.
In recent years, the cost bottom fixed offshore wind (BFOW) has been driven down, but they are not suitable for the depths of 60 meters where 80% of offshore wind resources are.
According to WindEurope, this means that 4TW of offshore capacity can only be supplied by floating projects.
“Floating offshore wind is expected to play a significant role in the growth of offshore wind going forward,” reported Irene Rummelhoff, Executive Vice President of Statoil’s New Energy Solutions division.
Statoil plans to reduce the cost of power generated from floating projects to between €40 and €60 (US$46 and $70) by 2030.
Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition
The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.
The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).
This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.
In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.
The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.