Reduce emissions. Net zero 2030. Reduce energy dependency. Now or Never. 1.5 Degrees. Heading for a climate disaster. Governments must act now. New energy strategies. The cost of climate inaction.
These are just some of the soundbites from the news in recent weeks as the acceleration to net zero 2030 goals speeds up. With rising energy costs across the globe putting pressure on household and commercial expenses, and the actions of Russia in Ukraine emphasizing the need to reduce energy dependencies from overseas, harnessing energy from the earths elements is in full focus.
Just this week the UK has published its strategy for increasing energy independence. Nuclear, wind, solar and hydrogen all play a part in that with strong targets to achieve by 2030; hydrogen capacity to double and solar to increase by up to 5 times the current outputs. The Offshore Wind target is to generate 50GW of energy by 2030, currently sitting at 11GW. These are ambitious targets and that sort of commitment is going to take some serious infrastructure installation projects.
The UK are not alone in the push to renewable energy, especially offshore wind. The USA just conducted an offshore wind lease sale off the coast of New York, fetching over $4 billion, a major step in the US push to renewable energy. Just last month a new study revealed that the Asia-Pacific region’s wind energy sector could soon account for nearly a quarter of their power this decade, with China set to be the largest market by 2030. And this past week the Government of India announced funding for a offshore wind energy test facility by India’s National Institute of Wind Energy (NIWE). Since the conditions in Indian waters are different to those experienced in Europe, there is a need to perform testing to ensure wind turbines are designed for their best performance.
The future of offshore wind is looking bright, and busy. But to make this energy truly sustainable, preventative asset protection is vital to ensuring longevity.
The push to offshore wind is to take advantage of the power of the wind produced at sea, moving at a much higher and more consistent speed thanks to the open space and absence of structures. What is a benefit to production, however, poses a logistical disadvantage to construction and maintenance along with an aggressive corrosive environment. These increased offshore developments will see stronger winds and bigger waves, beneficial to production, but adding pressure to not just the installation phase, but ongoing operation and maintenance.