A further cost reduction is possible
Simon Watson, newly appointed professor of Wind Energy Systems at TU Delft, states that there is still much to be gained in the field of cost reduction in wind energy. Especially when it comes to the construction and maintenance of offshore windmills.
This cost reduction in offshore wind was mentioned in his inaugural address at TU Delft last week. Wind energy has experienced enormous growth in Europe in the past 30 years. In the first half of 2017 almost 12 percent of the electricity in the EU was supplied by wind energy.
Offshore wind popular
In 2017 offshore wind energy recorded a record: no less than 3.1 gigawatts of new capacity online, a doubling of 2016. The United Kingdom and Germany accounted for the largest share. And currently the Netherlands has concrete plans for large offshore wind farms. Examples are the wind farms Borssele, Hollandse Kust Zuid and Hollandse Kust Noord.
"In more densely populated areas such as the Netherlands we have a development towards wind energy at sea," Watson says. "The first offshore wind farms were much more expensive than those on land, but have made a recent contribution to the construction of offshore wind farms at prices that no longer require public subsidies."
Innovations and investments
Whether this cost reduction continues, according to Watson, depends on the future innovations in the wind energy sector. This is crucial for the further growth of wind energy. The three key areas for cost reduction are operation, maintenance and integration, there are still steps to be taken.
"Operation and maintenance are good for almost one third of the offshore wind power. The efficient use of data from turbine sensors and advanced modeling techniques can be used to keep proactive and reliable with maintenance, the key to keeping wind turbines cost-efficient," Watson said.
With the concept of integration Watson on the power network for wind energy. If wind energy is being supplied, there are built or built offshore wind farms right in the power networks. The Dutch National Doctoral College in Offshore Renewable Energy was launched the same day. This course is in the sector of learning and the provision of research to supply.