The latest round of the Offshore Wind Accelerator (OWA) has kicked off with some of the industry’s biggest players coming together to facilitate collaborative research, development and deployment (RD&D) projects.
The Carbon Trust has launched the fourth stage of the initiative with partners EnBW, Equinor, Ørsted, RWE Renewables, ScottishPower Renewables, Shell, SSE Renewables, and Vattenfall.
The OWA has undertaken more than 180 projects internationally since being launched in 2008.
According to the flagship research programme, rapid cost reductions have led to wide-scale deployment of offshore and the levelised cost of energy (LCOE) has dropped significantly in the subsequent 12 years.
According to research carried out in 2018, OWA-supported initiatives could deliver a 15% reduction in the LCOE over a projects lifeline, which translates to a £34bn saving for the European offshore wind industry based on 2030 build out targets.
The next phase of the programme aims to build on cost reductions, overcome market barriers, develop industry best practice, trigger the development of new industry standards and support the international expansion of offshore wind.
Projects will focus on logistics, cable, electrical systems, foundations and energy yield and performance.
This year’s Clean Energy Innovation report from the International Energy Agency highlighted offshore wind as an industry in which strong collaboration has created more rapid innovation cycles and called for a “continued push on innovation” for renewables
Jan Matthiesen, director, offshore wind, the Carbon Trust, commented:“We are delighted to be announcing the next iteration of the OWA, which has already played a critical role in commercialising offshore wind technologies and realising the potential of this industry, which is playing a significant role in the decarbonisation of economies around the world.
“Offshore wind is at an exciting stage of deployment, with project investment reaching new heights in the first half of this year. But with growing ambition comes new challenges, and our experienced team and partners are ready to find and support the next generation of solutions.”
Georgios Stamatelopoulos, senior vice president – generation, Energie Baden-Württemberg AG, said: “Further reduction of costs is a constant factor of success in future offshore wind projects both in mature and emerging markets.
“EnBW is a strong supporter of the fourth phase of the industry-led OWA programme and appreciates the inclusion of wind farm operation-related aspects in the work programme that are becoming increasingly important for the competitiveness of offshore wind.”
Danielle Jarski, renewables director of engineering at RWE, said: “As a globally leading renewable energy player which now brings together the former renewables businesses of E.ON and innogy, RWE Renewables has been a long-term partner of the OWA programme.
“Thanks to the collaborative and determined approach taken by all partners, the OWA has driven remarkable progress within our industry, supporting the transformation of offshore wind from an embryonic, subsidised sector to one that is competitive and future-proofed.
“We now represent the combined expertise of two former OWA partners all under RWE Renewables, and we are looking forward to continuing this cooperation to support the global expansion of offshore wind.”
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