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The American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) has announced that Kincardine Offshore Wind farm, located approximately 15-kilometres off the southeast coast of Aberdeenshire, in the north-east of Scotland, in water depths ranging between 60-metres and 80-metres, has been completed and classed as the world´s largest floating offshore wind farm. A milestone in the offshore sector that started in 2018 with the installation of the first turbine.
The Kincardine floating wind farm consist of five 9.5 MW turbines, as well as a smaller 2 MW turbine (the first one that was installed in 2018) making a total of 48 MW of nominal power, and is expected to generate up to 218GWh worth of electricity each year, enough to power the equivalent of approximately 55,000 Scottish households. The project was developed by Kincardine Offshore Wind developer, a subsidiary of Pilot Offshore Renewables; giving the engineering, design, supply, construction and commissioning of the offshore farm to Cobra Wind, part of ACS Group.
Wood Mackenzie, the energy, chemicals, renewable energy, metals and mining global research and consultancy group, has determined that investment in wind power –one of the pillars of the global renewable energy industry– will grow by 8% over the next eight years, reaching €55 billion annually. This energy, which accumulates 591,000 MW installed worldwide, would mean a total investment of €5 billion over the course of 2020-2028.
The consultant clarifies that these figures are based both on the increase in offshore demand, which has risen by up to 20%, and on the rise in the price of turbines themselves. Numerous associations, such as Wind Europe, back up the key role this industry plays in achieving the climate goals of continents such as Europe, where it already accounts for 15% of energy generation. To achieve this, Europe would have to install 30 GW of wind power annually, doubling the 15.4 GW added during 2019.
Despite these optimistic forecasts, Wood Mackenzie emphasises the negative role that the global health crisis resulting from Covid-19 is causing in the supply chains of the world’s leading turbine manufacturers, and therefore in deliveries to the main operators. This situation would therefore affect countries such as China, the United States, Spain, or Italy, although, in the case of Asia, the return to early March production levels only meant a 3 GW production penalty.
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