Here you find current studies and reports



Offshore Wind Accelerator, OWA
February 2016
The Offshore Wind Accelerator (OWA) has published a report to inform industry on how to apply the Cable Burial Risk Assessment Guidance (CBRA) following its launch earlier this year. The new Application Guide for the Specification of the Depth of Lowering using CBRA explains how the pioneering probabilistic methodology can be applied to real offshore projects based on actual experience from an operational wind farm. This will help designers use the CBRA Guidance to specify the Depth of Lowering and manage associated residual risks to reduce the installation and insurance costs for subsea cables.

February 2016
According to this report, Europe's total offshore wind capacity was 11,027 MW by the end of 2015. A further 3,034 MW of capacity - spread across ten projects - reached final investment decision last year, a twofold increase on 2014.
Germany (2,282 MW), the United Kingdom (556 MW) and the Netherlands (180 MW) were the three countries to grid-connect new offshore wind turbines in 2015 with 14 projects reaching completion. Work is ongoing on a further six projects in Germany, the UK and the Netherlands, which will contribute an additional 1.9 GW in capacity.

With a net addition of 754 wind turbines fully grid connected in 2015, the average machine size rose to 4.2 MW from 3.7 MW a year earlier as manufacturers continue to develop larger models with higher energy capture. Siemens continues to be the top offshore wind turbine supplier in terms of net annual installations. With 1,816.4 MW of new capacity connected Siemens accounts for 60 % of the 2015 market. Adwen (550 MW, 18.2 %), MHI Vestas (391.5 MW, 12.9 %) and Senvion (270.6 MW, 8.9 %) are the other turbine manufacturers who had turbines grid-connected in full-scale wind farms during 2015.

Danish Maritime Authority
November 2015
The report, which DNV GL has made for the Danish Maritime Authority, focuses on the need to harmonise the regulations of the offshore wind industry. Harmonised regulations in the maritime area could contribute to the competitiveness of shipowners and eliminate any unnecessary administrative burdens.

The report has mapped the safety regulations and standards that apply when approving ships as well as crew qualifications in the four offshore wind sectors:
  • Denmark
  • the United Kingdom
  • Germany
  • the Netherlands.

Though the report shows that, in several areas, the countries have a common understanding of safety standards, the report points to the need to harmonise especially the safety standards applicable to offshore service craft for the carriage of wind turbine technicians. In addition, there is a need to harmonise the industry's own standards, especially as regards crews and wind turbine technicians, for example in connection with the transfer of persons between ship and wind turbine, as well as health examinations and safety training of especially wind turbine technicians.

The Crown Estate
In this report perceptions of the UK public to Offshore Wind Farms (OWFs) were explored. This report aimed to further our understanding of how individual well-being is affected by OWFs as well as the wider opinions held by the general public on the industry. It found that offshore wind was the third most favourable electricity source after solar and hydro. 83% of survey respondents view offshore wind energy as favourable or very favourable and more than a third would like to see at least 30% of their electricity produced by offshore wind. A clear majority of respondents felt that OWFs do not harm human health, are an efficient way to generate electricity, contribute significantly to the UK economy, create local jobs, and do not affect fishermen’s incomes. Opinion was more evenly divided as to whether OWFs have a positive effect on coastal tourism, benefit local communities, harm wildlife or spoil the view.

Despite these positive attitudes towards offshore wind energy, when compared with other electricity sources in terms of perceived reliability and contribution to UK jobs, the offshore wind industry performs badly. The perceived minimal environmental impact of offshore wind farms is not sufficient to compensate for a perceived lack of reliability. Respondents identified a lack of public support as the most significant barrier to offshore wind farm development.

The Crown Estate
The review explores how we are impacted by the offshore wind industry in our daily lives. The scientists measured these impacts objectively in terms of how we are affected materially. Positive impacts were seen on the economy in terms of investments, for manufacturing and the development of relevant infrastructure, and in terms of jobs and skills development. Social and environmental impacts were more mixed or less clear. The role of policy and planning in facilitating offshore wind industry development was also investigated.

“We found that people were generally positive about offshore wind energy, but there were concerns about the planning process for offshore wind farms, which led to some distrust in developers. Understanding the complex nature of people’s perceptions of the offshore wind industry was something we needed to explore in more detail” said Drs Caroline Hattam and Tara Hooper.

Carbon Trust
November 2015
This study identifies the key barriers to large scale commercialisation of Gravity Based Structures (GBSs) in the offshore wind industry. It was prepared for the Scottish Government.
It gives a GBS overview, offers a technology description as well as trends. Its main conclusions: GBSs appear to have high potential in becoming an alternative that is considered in parallel to monopiles/jackets. But there are certain hurdles that need to be addressed before GBSs can be widely implemented in the offshore wind industry.

Wind energy already plays a significant role in the European power sector. In 2014, the wind industry installed 11,791 MW in the EU - more than gas and coal combined. Today wind energy can meet 10.2% of Europe’s electricity demand with a cumulative capacity of 128.8 GW at the end of 2014.

Wind energy technology is today a mainstream source of electricity generation in Europe. Wind power plants across the continent are operating on a scale similar to traditional thermal power generation, delivering clean, affordable and reliable electricity to European citizens. The wind power produced in certain European countries can already cover significant portions of electricity demand for increasing periods of time.

TKI Wind op Zee
October 2015
In the Netherlands, the stakeholders, both government and market parties, committed to a 40% cost reduction in the Green Deal 2011. In the Dutch 2013 Energy agreement this cost reduction was incorporated in the maximum tender amounts for the five upcoming tenders. Today a report was released which demonstrates that this target is well within reach given the potential of cost reduction in the areas of Technology, Market & Supply Chain and Finance from 2010 and 2020 (at final investment decision). Within these three main categories, the report identifies a number of cost reduction options that can contribute significantly to cost reduction. Although substantial cost reductions are already locked in, meeting the 40% cost reduction target requires continued efforts.

Offshore Wind - Floating Wind Technology
An insights report by the Energy Technologies Institute

October 2015
Key headlines:

> With technology and supply chain development there is a clear and credible trajectory to delivering commercial offshore wind farms

> Floating Wind has the potential to be a cost-effective, secure and safe low-carbon energy source which could deliver a levelised cost of energy of less than £85/MWh from the mid-2020s
> To deliver improved costs, offshore wind needs access to good quality wind resource close enough to shore and the onshore grid system so that transmission costs are minimised and operations/maintenance costs reduced
> Floating technology can provide access to high quality wind resources relatively close to the UK shoreline and in the proximity of population centres

> In water depths less than 30m fixed foundations will be the prime solution, in water depths over 50m floating foundations provide the lowest cost solution – a mix of these

technologies is likely to offer the lowest cost pathway to deliver large scale deployment in the UK
> UK wind resources are abundant and exploitable – and already supplied 9.4% of the UK’s electricity needs in 2014
> The UK has the world’s highest offshore wind capacity with over 4GW installed, from over 1100 turbines, average power rating 3.4MW. A further 1.4GW is in construction, 4.8GW
has planning permission and the world’s largest in-service offshore wind farm is in the outer Thames Estuary

Workshop Report: Marine transfer/access systems
G9 Offshore Wind - Health & safety Association
August 2015

This workshop report draws upon outputs from the first G9 Safe by Design workshop held in September 2014. The workshop explored a number of key topics associated with the transfer of personnel from a crew transfer vessel to a transition piece (including design of the transfer connector, new designs in access systems and boat landing design).

In 2014, the Crown Estate asked the G9 to take over the running and delivery of their Safe by Design workshops. By bringing the Safe by Design workshops into the G9 work programme, the G9 aims to explore industry operations and technologies with a focus on Safe by Design principles.

Each G9 workshop will examine the current design controls relating to a particular topic, discuss where current design has potentially failed, identify opportunities for improvement and then seek to demonstrate the potential risk reduction to be gained from these new ways of thinking. The findings from each workshop will also be made freely available in reports which can be downloaded from the G9 website.

Subsidy schemes and tax regimes
TKI Wind op Zee, PWC
April 2015

This report identifies the differences in subsidy schemes and tax regimes for offshore wind in France, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, the UK and the Netherlands. The design of the subsidy and tax schemes determines the attractiveness for investors as it can change the risk profile and, therefore the cost of capital and levelized cost of energy (LCoE). A lower LCoE will lead to lower costs for society.

The TKI Wind op Zee (Top consortium for Knowledge and Innovation Offshore Wind) commissioned PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) to conduct this study. The study has analysed two policy routes to make offshore wind projects more attractive to investors; through subsidies and/ or tax schemes. Both methods, if designed effectively, can reduce LCoE. Through risk shifting between public and private parties the cost of capital and LCoE can be optimised.

All subsidy and tax systems analyzed, have a low risk profile in general, as the feed-in tariffs and feed-in premiums are designed to ensure that investors obtain sufficient revenue. But there are differences in the schemes per country and those differences impact the risk level for investors.

The European offshore wind industry - key trends and statistics 2014
January 2015

Offshore wind power market in 2014:
> 408 new offshore wind turbines in nine wind farms and one demonstration project, worth between € 4.2 billion and €5.9 billion, were fully grid connected between 1 January and 31 December 2014. The new capacity totals 1,483.3 MW - 5.34 % less than in 2013;
> 536 turbines were erected during 2014, an average of 5.9 MW per day. 373 of these turbines are awaiting grid connection;

Cumulative offshore wind power market:
> 2,488 turbines are now installed and grid connected, making a cumulative total of 8,045.3 MW in 74 wind farms in 11 European countries;
> 78.8 % of substructures are monopiles, 10.4% are gravity foundations, jackets account for 4.7 %, tripods account for 4.1 %, and tripiles account for 1.9 %;
> There are also two full-scale grid-connected floating turbines.

Market outlook for 2015 and 2016:
> Once completed, the 12 offshore projects currently under construction will increase installed capacity by a further 2.9 GW, bringing the cumulative capacity in Europe to 10.9 GW.

> The average offshore wind turbine size was 3.7 MW, slightly less than in 2013 due to the increased proportion of installation of the Siemens 3.6 MW wind turbines;
> The average size of a grid-connected offshore wind farm in 2014 was 368 MW, 24.1 % less than the previous year. This is the result of the 2013 completion of the record breaking London Array (630 MW);
> The average water depth of wind farms completed, or partially completed, in 2014 was 22.4 m and the average distance to shore was 32.9 km.

Financing highlights and developments:
> Project finance is increasingly becoming an important tool in financing offshore wind. The industry raised € 3.14 billion of non-recourse debt in 2014 – the highest ever level reached in the industry;
> Nearly half of the final investment decisions made in 2014 were billion-euro projects, in total 2,323 MW of new gross capacity was financed;
> Partnerships are becoming a key to success, and as liquidity is back in the financial markets, developers will be more likely to align their interests with those of potential investors.

Cost Reduction Potentials of Offshore Wind Power in Germany
Fichtner, Prognos
August 2013

This study of Prognos AG and The Fichtner Group concludes that the cost of electricity from offshore wind energy can be reduced by about one third if it is consistently developed and growing over the next ten years. “The identified cost reduction potentials are based on the assumption that offshore wind power will be continuously developed and reach a capacity of 9 Gigawatt or more by the year 2023. This is the way to gain project experience, to promote technological innovation and to significantly decrease costs,” said Jens Eckhoff, President of the Foundation Offshore-Windenergie. Eckhoff continued: “Offshore wind power has a substantial cost reduction potential. However, the industry can only exploit this potential if there are reliable framework conditions to achieve significant market volumes.”

The study was commissioned by the German Offshore Wind Energy Foundation, Stiftung Offshore-Windenergie, together with associations and companies of the offshore wind industry.