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Rise in renewables sees wind farm vessel surge

Rise in renewables sees wind farm vessel surge

08 June 2021
Rise in renewables sees wind farm vessel surge

As investments in offshore wind continue to climb, demand for service operation vessels (SOVs) and offshore wind turbine installations vessels (WTIVs) is expected to remain strong for the foreseeable future. A new report from IHS Markit predicts that annualised growth rates in offshore wind capacity will increase sixfold by 2030 as investors respond to favourable policies, reducing costs, advancing technology and the emissions imperative.

Rapid infrastructure development will be needed to match the pace of growth and, with turbines also getting larger, WTIVs will have to be bigger and more powerful than ever before to cope.

As the go-to event for discussing specialist vessel types, Europort provides an ideal platform to discuss latest market developments and the new vessel designs needed in a buoyant market.

Europort exhibitor MARIN is currently leading a joint industry project for an Offshore Operating Advisory System (OOAS), for example. The consortium of companies seeks to improve offshore wind farm installation and maintenance vessel efficiency to provide additional working days. The project aims to use digital data to increase the weather window by considering environmental and operational conditions in planning and execution.

The Government of the Netherlands is also focusing on better planning for the wind energy sector with its recent Offshore Wind Energy Roadmap for installations in the Dutch North Sea up to 2030. Europort partner organization IRO explains that, by 2030, Dutch offshore wind capacity will total at least 11.5GW. The roadmap therefore provides "greater certainty for project developers, increases investor confidence, and drives overall costs down”, says IRO.

The concentration of offshore wind energy developments in the North Sea and China has left little vessel availability for other regions looking to grow renewables offshore but, here too, things are starting to change. In line with the priorities of the Biden administration, recent reports highlight a growing number of new designs and orders for SOVs in the US, with many fitted with electric or hybrid propulsion systems to reduce emissions.