Port investment could cut offshore wind costs

Oostende's Rebo terminal has seen the construction of 42 wind turbines for Siemens Rentel windfarm Photo: Rebo Oostende Oostende's Rebo terminal has seen the construction of 42 wind turbines for Siemens Rentel windfarm Photo: Rebo Oostende

Investments of €0.5-€1bn in new port infrastructure could help the offshore wind sector cut costs by up to 5.3%.

That is according to figures released by the WindEurope Ports Platform at the Global Wind Summit in Hamburg.

“Ports are an essential part of the offshore wind supply chain. They are natural centres of industrial activity and help to bring together knowledge and labour to offshore wind,” said Giles Dickson, CEO, WindEurope.

“With offshore wind turbine components getting larger and installation volumes going up there’s a need for new investments in port infrastructure. This is also essential as ports will play a key role in accommodating operations related to the decommissioning of offshore wind farms and recycling of components.”

Cutting costs

Mr Dickson pointed out that these investments will help the offshore wind sector to cut costs and help ports to attract new business activities.

But he said that new public-private partnerships and the allocation of existing EU funds would probably needed to make this happen.

European ports are set to take on an expanded role in the offshore wind supply chain. By 2030 Europe is expected to have installed 70 GW of offshore wind. This means there will be more than 10.000 turbines in the water. This is equivalent to a build-out rate of 6 GW per year, 20% of which will be repowering existing sites with brand new turbines.

The building out of new facilities in European ports is urgent as offshore wind turbine components get larger and installation volumes increase.

But the investments are not just required for the future installation, operation and maintenance of offshore wind turbines. New port facilities are also needed to facilitate operations for the annual decommissioning of 750 MW of capacity and annually recycling more than 600 turbines that have reached end of life between now and 2030.

Following these investments in port infrastructure the platform says that CAPEX for the installation of 30 GW of offshore wind would be reduced by 5.5 billion which is equivalent to a 5.3% reduction in the Levelised Cost of Energy (LCOE).

The WindEurope Ports Platform members are: Groningen Seaports, Green Port Hull, Port of Saint-Nazaire, Port of Amsterdam, Port Atlantique La Rochelle, Port of Den Helder, Port of Esbjerg, Port of Grenaa, Port La-Nouvelle, Port of Oostende and Renewable Energy Base Oostende (REBO).

By Anne-Marie Causer

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