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An element we encounter daily could become the energy source that changes the future.
The growing global population and climate change have created an increasing demand for a reliable and sustainable energy supply that can be relied upon for generations to come.
To meet environmental concerns and the need for a healthier living environment and accommodate a growing population, it is vital that dependence on fossil fuels be significantly reduced. This challenge is compounded by the need to keep energy production cost-efficient.
There is one resource that produces the results needed to act as a viable solution for all energy concerns: offshore wind power. In recent years, offshore wind has evolved from a secondary source of energy to a global one – with turbine capacity increasing from 30 kW to 8 MW in only 25 years, and overall project capacity from 5 MW to 630 MW. Simply put, it has become the most promising cornerstone of the renewable energy industry.
There is good reason for this. Offshore wind is a nearly CO2-free energy source that meets all climate change concerns, and an inexhaustible one – meaning no fuel costs, no imports necessary, and energy independence for those who act on its potential.
Society as a whole benefits from the offshore wind industry beyond the energy it produces: it holds great potential for job creation, ultimately benefiting the wider economy. In 2015, €13.3 billion worth of investments in Europe were committed to offshore wind energy. And while it reduces the need for fossil fuel imports, it is itself a huge opportunity for export.
But to realize the full potential of offshore wind and turn it into a truly viable asset, the challenges of the future must be faced head-on. These challenges include the growing size of wind parks to accommodate them being installed further from shore and in deeper water, so that they can access consistent and higher winds. This creates obstacles for installation, operation, and maintenance.
The harsh conditions at these “at sea” sites call for reliable and robust products able to withstand environmental pressures like high wind, waves, and salt. In order to develop products like this without increasing costs requires innovative technical solutions. Therefore the biggest overarching challenge facing the offshore wind power industry is the reduction of energy production costs – now and in the future.
A Coordinated Effort
Any complex challenge requires innovation and experience to solve it effectively and definitively. This is especially true in a growing industry such as offshore wind power, where unprecedented challenges arise with this expansion. To secure a more profitable investment in the face of these challenges requires a partner with the experience and expertise to offer agile solutions along the entire offshore wind power value chain.
As the market leader in installing offshore wind turbines and establishing grid connections globally, Siemens stands tall as the logical choice for provider of wind power solutions. With more than 25 years of offshore experience – the most in the industry – and offering products and solutions along the entire offshore wind power value chain, Siemens drives down costs through innovation, industrialization, and partnering with reliable institutions. To enable profitability and reduce project risk, Siemens pushes the boundaries of what’s possible.
An example of this is how Siemens applies focus on digitalization with a 3D design risk assessment able to test a product before it is actually manufactured, resulting in not only cost savings but also greater safety. Or the Service Operation Vessels (SOV), which can stay out at sea near a wind park for up to several weeks at a time, equipped with cutting-edge technology for faster, safer, and more efficient service. Innovations such as these are used together with proven products for assured benefit and cost reduction.
With more than 32,000 MW of installed capacity worldwide, a broad product portfolio, and grid access solutions, together with global sales, service, manufacturing, and an extensive R&D network, no other company can offer as complete a package as Siemens.
Offshore wind power is set to become increasingly important in the years ahead. It’s economic, environmental, and political benefits will make it more attractive than other, more conventional options.
Over 7,000 European households can be powered by a single 8 MW offshore wind turbine, reducing emissions and fossil fuel use.
In 2030 the wind energy industry will provide over 334,000 direct and indirect jobs in the EU.
Offshore wind power plants are a promising investment. Customers benefit from flexible solutions throughout the entire value chain of a wind project and are experiencing advantages such as reduced costs and a simplified logistical set-up.
Proven technology increases reliability and profitability. We design and thoroughly test our components, turbines, and blades with advanced PLM and LMS software from beginning to end.
To achieve greater performance at lower risk and cost, we test our wind turbine components digitally as well as in our research and test centers and we industrialize the whole production and assembly process.
Offshore investments must pay off on time. To ensure this happens, we safely and quickly assemble turbines in high wind speeds and simplify the transport of turbines from the factory to their final position out at sea.
For wind power to grow into a dependable clean energy alternative, we offer innovate concepts for grid connection, grid integration, microgrid solutions, transformers, and components.
Steady service keeps turbines running even in rough conditions, maximizing availability and output. Our Remote Diagnostic Services and Service Operation Vessels ensure wind power plants continue generating profit as well as energy.
In a growing market, investors seek reliability and simplicity. Since installing the world's first offshore wind turbines, our customers can count on our tailor-made solutions protecting their investment.
Siemens experts work together based on principles of integration, cooperation, and cohesiveness. This allows cost-reduction along and within every phase of the value chain, as innovative solutions are applied to every step of a customer’s offshore wind power journey. Through this, customers can relax in the knowledge that their investment is secure for the entire lifetime of the project.
The first step in a successful offshore wind power plant lies in choosing the right turbine for specific needs. Siemens offers both geared and direct drive wind turbines that have proven themselves to be reliable offshore solutions. Continual innovation allows further technological development to meet market needs and mitigate customer risk – such as the new SWT-8.0-154 turbine, which offers 10% higher AEP than any existing offshore direct drive platform. And the cutting-edge direct drive technology, with its fewer components and lighter architecture, contributes to cost-cutting goals.
To overcome the difficult operating conditions at sea, Siemens’ wind equipment team has developed a product line of generators, electric drives, and control systems, driven by cost reduction and reliability. A comprehensive engineering value chain, with standard components and interfaces in modularization, allows for shorter time to market, while digitalization pushes the limits of performance and flexibility.
Once turbines have started producing energy, reliable grid access is critical – and providing smart grid DC and AC access solutions is an essential part of Siemens’ offshore wind power offerings. Siemens takes an integrated lifecycle approach to grid access, from advanced new grid technology to full-scope, innovative service solutions that provide high availability over the entire lifecycle of a wind power project.
These all work together to ensure a technically efficient and economically feasible system solution. An example of this is the second-generation DC grid access concept – a new technical solution and breakthrough for connecting offshore wind parks to the grid. Easy to install and maintain, this simplified design has reduced space, weight, and costs and it improves the environmental impact of offshore wind installations.
Throughout the entire lifetime of a project, customers will need flexible service solutions to generate maximum return on investment. In four key areas – reliability, reassurance, optimization, and knowledge – Siemens’ comprehensive service wind power portfolio offers the ability to choose from a broad range of intelligent and innovative service solutions.
Toward the realization of offshore wind energy as the renewable energy source of choice – financial solutions are key. Siemens’ financial services team provides a broad range of financial solutions to support our customers in the energy, natural resources, and infrastructure segments. The division’s current portfolio supports 15.6 GW of wind energy (onshore and offshore) with financing.
Through these steps, wind’s potential for the future of sustainable energy can be fully actualized. So, as you venture into the world of renewable energy, who better to partner with than the offshore leader? Only together is it possible to get real long-term value out of wind, and transform it into one of the world’s most precious assets.
“Wind – offshore wind in particular – is the most suitable source of renewable energy for our wide-reaching purposes. It’s an area where we can make significant progress toward achieving our goal with individual projects.”
“The 600 MW wind power plant Gemini – which Siemens supported with a 20% equity investment – is the world’s largest project-financed offshore wind farm and a great example of the success of offshore projects made possible through financial support.”
“Remote diagnostics has shown great benefit for the operation of wind power plants – we now have the ability to integrate diagnostics in our general service and repair work, schedule work ahead of time and bundle work – this allows for truly optimized operations.”
“Safer, faster, more efficient, and incredibly reliable – the Ro/Ro system uses our customized vehicles to roll instead of lift components for secure delivery to customers. This project has proven itself of high value for all involved – customers, Siemens, and the whole market.”
“By deploying the latest manufacturing technologies, we have been able to design our new blade plant to have 20% higher output in a factory that is 15% smaller than the original design.”
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As the developer of the first offshore wind project, Siemens has a proven track record in the industry. For over 25 years we have used our experience and expertise to create a wide variety of product solutions along the entire value chain that have helped drive the customer and the offshore wind industry as a whole forward.
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German households supplied with eco-friendly power
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