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Offshore wind, wave and tidal can meet Europe’s electricity demand

Offshore wind, wave and tidal energy could technically provide all of Europe’s future electricity demand, according to a group of industry experts and scientists under the EU ORECCA project.

Today offshore wind turbines with a total capacity of around 2.8 GW, are feeding energy into the European grids. Most of the wind farms are installed less than 20 km from the coast and in relatively shallow water depths up to 20 m.

However, the next generation of offshore wind farms will be developed at distances around 40 km from the coast and in 40 m depths. These numbers are likely to increase further in the coming years.

Moving offshore presents benefits

Moving further offshore presents some interesting opportunities for innovations and synergies with other marine renewable resources such as wave and tidal energy. New types of foundations have to be developed and tested, including floating structures such as the Hywind project.

Furthermore, combinations of wind, wave, tidal and aquatic biomass are now on the research agenda’s of the larger developers and utilities in Europe.

Involving the wider marine renewables community

A common approach for the exploitation of wind, wave and other marine energy resources has the potential to accelerate the offshore market development and to reduce the overall cost for the energetic exploitation of the oceans and seas.

The EU-ORECCA project (Off-shore Renewable Energy Conversion platforms – Coordination Action) aims to overcome knowledge fragmentation existing in Europe on offshore wind and marine renewable sources.

The ORECCA network is currently at the head quarters of Siemens to work on a common roadmap which will be used by the EU for future funding programmes and policies to facilitate the required innovations and R&D for the sector.

The workshop is organised by Siemens and Ecofys.

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Other marine energy and hydropower  •  Wave and tidal energy  •  Wind power

 

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