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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