Group to push for more UK floating wind projects

The pioneering Hywind project off Peterhead was opened by Equinor and Masdar in 2017
The pioneering Hywind project off Peterhead was opened by Equinor and Masdar in 2017

Energy firms including Shell and Equinor have joined a new group to push for further deployment of floating offshore wind technology in the UK.

The Floating Wind Action Group has been set up through trade body Renewable UK, in partnership with Scottish Renewables, to set out the case for large-scale use of the tech.

The group is lobbying for floating wind to feature in a white paper the UK government is producing on its future electricity strategy, and “recognise the opportunity” for pioneering it.

It is made up of a collection of developers and suppliers, also including Aker Solutions, GE, James Fisher and Sons, and Atkins, to name a few.

Hywind, the world’s first floating offshore windfarm, was opened by Equinor and Masdar off the coast of Peterhead in 2017.

Since then the first turbine has been installed at the Kincardine floating windfarm off the coast of Aberdeenshire.

Renewable UK said the country’s existing leadership in offshore energy and natural resources make for the “ideal test bed” for the technology.

Emma Pinchbeck, deputy CEO at RenewableUK said:“The UK has a unique opportunity to pioneer a new technology which has a truly global potential.

“Industry leaders are working together to ensure that Government seizes that opportunity. As we step up decarbonisation of the energy system, competitive new technologies like floating wind will be good for consumers.”

Earlier this month the UK government announced a £250m offshore wind sector deal, with the potential to nearly triple the amount of Scottish jobs in the sector from 3,400 to more than 10,000.

Jenny Hogan, deputy Chief Executive at Scottish Renewables said: “Innovation is key to the long-term growth set out in the Offshore Wind Sector Deal and floating turbines will open up new areas in deeper waters, particularly off the coast of Scotland with new sites for development currently being considered.

“Globally, much of the offshore wind potential is in deeper waters that will need floating technology, so this sector offers new industrial opportunities across the UK.”