Is bigger really better? Will floating offshore wind work with 15MW turbines and larger?
- UK and Norway have set ambitious targets for reducing emissions from their oil and gas activities
- Both nations desire to develop their respective industries into global leaders in floating wind
- Floating wind is a de-carbonisation solution that could deliver on the emission reduction targets
- Tax incentives could be an effective fiscal tool to incentivise de-carbonisation projects
With advancements in technology and engineering, and not least political interest, there are now a variety of different floating wind technologies being promoted, each with its own unique design and approach to capturing wind energy. These range from simple floating platforms attached to the seabed, to innovative designs such as semi-submersible and spar-buoy concepts. However, few if any of these designs have so far been proven in full scale for large wind turbine generators. Many of them only exist as computer rendered images at an early stage of development. The designs that have come furthest have begun to involve the classification societies.
- Oil and gas fields can to a large extent be electrified without power from shore
- Significant emission reductions can be realised with impact already in 2024
- This can lay the foundation for a large export industry based on offshore floating wind for Norway
- The UK and Norway have set ambitious emission reduction targets for 2030
- Offshore floating wind has been identified as the key tool to de-carbonise the oil and gas industry in both countries
- Policymakers must enable the floating offshore wind industry to deliver on these targets
- The oil and gas industry in Norway has set an objective to reduce its emissions by 50% by 2030
- Halving the emissions from oil and gas installations means having to shift their power generation systems from fossil fuels to renewable energy
- Odfjell Oceanwind’s Mobile Offshore Wind Units (MOWUs) and the WindGrid™ hybrid system allows operators to reduce CO2-emission by up to 70% compared to power generation from gas turbines only
- The WindGrid™ system is developed based on the learnings from the hybridisation and de-carbonisation of Odfjell Drilling’s rigs
- A fit for purpose, predictable commercial framework for de-carbonisation is necessary to accelerate investment decisions and to deliver on the oil and gas industry’s de-carbonisation goals.
- The legal framework needs to be up to date in order to not slow down the green shift.
- Mobile offshore wind can be an efficient de-carbonisation solution for oil and gas.
The world needs an energy transition away from fossil fuels. This is to reach the emission reduction target set out by the Paris Agreement of keeping global warming to well below 2°C, and pursuing efforts to limit it to 1.5°C. According to the agreement, the EU and its member states are committed to a net domestic reduction of at least 55% in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 compared to 1990.
Since the early seventies, the Odfjell brand has been synonymous with a strong vision and flair for opportunities offshore. In 1969, Abraham Odfjell stated that he could envision “rigs like beads on a string along the Norwegian coast.” Today we can clearly see the future, and the future is floating wind power.
Mobile Offshore Wind Units are floating wind turbines that can move from location to location as and when there is a need for renewable power. They are ideally suited to provide power to oil and gas installations that require power for a limited period, typically until the production closes on that particular field. The Norwegian oil and gas industry has high ambitions and targets a cut in carbon emissions by 50% before 2030. There are principally four ways of delivering on the ambition: