Offshore wind isn’t without risks
The rise of offshore wind energy is accompanied by risks, an industry analyst has warned.
Jonny Allen, head of offshore wind at GCube Underwriting, said that wind energy has created demand for maritime services and boosted supply chain development, but the risk landscape has been changed significantly by factors such as steeply falling costs, increasing turbine sizes, and the development of floating technology.
He stressed: “The priority for the offshore wind sector – including developers, vessel operators, investors and insurers – must now be to ensure sustainable growth, allowing for innovation without compromising on quality or efficiency.
“In this high-risk environment, all involved have a responsibility to collaborate and share knowledge.”
Mr Allen explained lower prices mean developers have to make challenging engineering and design decisions under ever narrower margins, while O&M suppliers must continue to deliver a high-quality product during boom periods, plus stand behind warranties as delivery deadlines become tighter.
Turbines with capacities reaching over 10MW offer significant cost efficiencies, but they also increase risk. The ability of one turbine to impact project finances – should it fail – is much more significant in a farm of ten 10MW turbines, than of twenty 5MW turbines, stressed Mr Allen.
The first utility-scale floating project, Hywind, off the north coast of Scotland, uses “fledgling” technology which “inevitably introduces risks,” he said
For insurers, a major challenge in floating wind is the current lack of design consistency. A lack of common standards for floating foundations or mooring technologies mean insurers must apply fixed foundation rationale to floating projects.
Mr Allen added that newer offshore wind markets in Asia may also lack the stable and experienced supply chain required to handle the unique demands of floating wind.
By Rebecca Jeffrey
Latest Press Releases
Damen Dredging Equipment has launched a new DOP Dredger Series following the success of the DOP subm... Read more
National Maritime Shipping Company Kazmortransflot LLP, a leader in transportation in the Caspian Se... Read more
The P&O Cruises Grand-class cruise ship Ventura has just completed a two-week docking at Damen Shipr... Read more
Delivery ensures clients fast, cost effective delivery of stock pontoons Read more
Lithium-ion battery expert Dr John Warner is presenting at the NEXT GENERATION Marine Power & Propul... Read more
The Dutch built dredger has arrived on site at Port of Umm Qasr, Iraq Read more