Study: offshore wind parks deliver reliable power

Tuesday, 12 December, 2017 - 12:15
Study: offshore wind parks deliver reliable power (Photo: Stiftung OFFSHORE WINDENERGIE)
Study: offshore wind parks deliver reliable power (Photo: Stiftung OFFSHORE WINDENERGIE)

A recent study by German research institution Fraunhofer IWES concludes that the availability of offshore wind turbines has increased compared to the results of a previous study from 2013.

The current study by Fraunhofer IWES has examined the long-term significance of offshore wind energy in an increasingly decarbonised energy system by the year 2050. At that point in time, a full coverage of the final energy demand by renewable energies is assumed in order to be able to reach the Paris climate targets. The study thus goes beyond the 80 percent target of its predecessor study from 2013.

As an intermediate step, the updated analysis also looks at the year 2030, assuming a 30 percent share of renewable energy in the final energy demand. The study demonstrates that the required share of renewable energies for a cross-sectoral energy transition can only be achieved with a significant share of offshore wind energy. For the year 2030, an output of 25 GW and for 2050 of 57 GW is considered to be the optimum for the energy system.

The reasons for this prediction are, among others, in the good power plant properties of offshore wind energy. The plants provide relatively constant power and the yields are well predictable. With a higher proportion of offshore wind energy in 2030 and 2050, the volatility of residual load will be reduced, thus reducing the need and cost of providing flexibility (including through reserve power plants). The reasons for this are that offshore wind energy is better adapted to energy consumption in terms of time than electricity from onshore wind and photovoltaics, and that the power yields of offshore installations are more predictable today.

"The results show that offshore wind energy contributes significantly to security of supply. An increase in expansion targets by 2030 would thus strengthen Germany as an industrial location and be necessary in view of climate politics", said Dr. Ursula Prall, CEO of the German foundation OFFSHORE-WINDENERGIE, who commissioned the IWES study. "Federal policy should therefore be in line with the demands of the coastal states and the industry from the Cuxhaven appeal of September this year," continued Prall. The appeal called for an expansion of offshore wind energy to at least 20 GW by 2030 and 30 GW by 2035.

Volker Buddensiek / Stiftung OFFSHORE WINDENERGIE

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