Power & Energy Solutions

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The wind market is continuously evolving to bigger and more powerful WTGs, both onshore and offshore, each one has its limitations, but they need to include new solutions and continue to reduce the associated LCoE. Until now, the onshore market has represented approximately 70% of the total MW installed (GWEC), but offshore is growing. Onshore WTGs are evolving from 2-3 MW to 5-6MW platforms, but will be close to 8MW and more in the years to come. Each wind farm placement will determine the best configuration of the WTGs and the associated tower with the existing technology. However, the logistical requirements of the whole process will determine the feasibility of the final options. Low wind sites require higher towers, forest and plains, on the other hand, higher towers bring a homogeneous flow that is better for the WTG component lifecycle and reduces O&M costs. Anyway, extra height supposes extra yearly MWh production. High wind sites usually are on top of mountains with no easy access, where WTGs <2MW were installed. Gusty wind reduces the lifetime of the WTG components. Now a lot of the first wind farms are waiting to be repowered, but due to logistical restrictions, the new WTGs cannot be placed

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If everything goes smoothly, then the UK’s offshore wind industry should be well on track to hit the Government’s target of 40 Gigawatts (GW) of generation capacity by 2030, but this is not an industry that’s accustomed to everything going smoothly. Chris Towner, Partner and renewable energy specialist at law firm Womble Bond Dickinson, looks at what needs to be done to ensure targets are hit. The innovation and determination of the UK offshore wind sector has been proven time and again and has seen our windy little island become the undisputed world leader in offshore wind generation. An optimistic assessment of the UK’s offshore wind capacity, including current generation capacity, around 10.4GW, projects that are ‘underway’, plus the, 8GW-worth of R4 projects, suggests that we ought to hit the 40 GW/2030 target with capacity to spare. We saw more good news from our wind farms over the May 2021 bank holiday weekend as a new record for wind power generation was set in England, Scotland and Wales. Even if that relied on very strong wind conditions, it shows the capacity is there and we really are on the right track. However, a pragmatic assessment of the task in hand would point to the many obstacles

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As our winters get colder and turbines get bigger, icing presents a host of potential pitfalls for wind farmers. Wicetec looks to overcome these challenges with its Ice Prevention System, helping to avoid a repeat of the Texas big freeze power outage earlier this year. PES caught up with Petteri Antikainen, the company’s Co-Founder and CEO, to discuss the possibility of wind turbine winterization. PES: Welcome to PES Wind Petteri. First of all, could you introduce our readers to Wicetec, for those who may not be familiar with your work? Petteri Antikainen: Wicetec is the world wide leader in wind turbine blade heating solutions. Currently Wicetec has two business segments. Firstly, we work with wind turbine manufacturers to provide heating solutions for new installations. Secondly, our technology can be retrofitted to existing wind turbines that are weather damaged. This summer we will continue retrofit installations in Canada on two wind farms, this area of the business is gaining a lot of interest right now. We are making plans for 2022 and beyond, so business is good. PES: Last winter was a particularly cold one across Europe and in North America. Did this make things busier for you as a result? PA: The

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The pace of the clean energy revolution is speeding up in an international effort to curb global warming and offshore wind power is set to play a pivotal role in achieving the CO2 reduction targets of many of the world’s coastal countries. It is widely perceived that offshore wind is set to grow by around 9,900% through to 2050 which, according to IRENA, the International Renewable Energy Agency, will take currently installed capacity of just over 10 GW to nearly 1,000 GW by 2050. This is a view widely shared by industry monitors, such as, DNV and the Global Wind Energy Council. So, the future for the industry is looking good, but using current technology will they really be able to achieve these ambitious targets? According to WindEurope, the average size of wind turbine currently being installed offshore is 7.2 MW; that would mean 137,500 machines would be needed by 2050, or nearly 4,600 every year. It is true that the three main turbine manufacturers (Vestas, Siemens/Gamesa and GE) all have machines ranging between 14 – 15 MW in the pipeline, but these are not expected to be commercially available until 2024/25. The machines currently in development are huge; with the GE

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As global interest in wind energy continues to grow, an increasing number of projects are looking out to sea, where the vast ocean expanse allows offshore wind farms to cover more area, erect larger turbines and generate more energy. Offshore wind is expected to constitute 20% of total wind energy installations by 2025. While Europe and Asia are leading the way, the United States is making its own waves in the offshore wind market, with developers planning to implement about nine gigawatts of offshore wind by 2026. Although offshore wind farms can produce more energy and don’t have to deal with the terrain issues and residential opposition some land-based farms face, operating on the open ocean presents its own unique set of challenges. The traditional measurement towers used to gauge winds for inland farms are difficult, if not impossible, to install and maintain at offshore sites due to the harsher conditions and remote locations. They also may be less accurate for the much larger turbines used at sea, making getting reliable wind characteristic assessments one of the biggest challenges to maximizing the potential of offshore wind farms. And considering offshore wind farms can cost 10 times as much as their onshore counterparts, getting the

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Vaarst, the new technology spin-off company from Rovco launched March 2021, with the vision to bring artificial intelligence, machine learning and autonomy to all offshore robotics. Enabling the integration of their technology into all robotic vehicles, both new and as a retrofit solution to existing ROVs. A technology company borne from a services business Rovco, out of which Vaarst was born, has operated as a service provider to the offshore sector since 2016, supplying survey and asset integrity services across the offshore lifecycle. But it is Vaarst who has provided the technology that has sat behind Rovco’s innovation-led services. Indeed, Rovco has operated as the testing ground for Vaarst, enabling the technology to be refined and established in the real-world scenario. It has also enabled the naturally cautious energy sector to see the huge benefits that Vaarst technology can bring. Vaarst technology was created to transform offshore data collection in the survey and O&M domain, where processes and systems are ripe for modernisation. At present, offshore data-gathering demands the deployment of sizeable vessels, that create remarkably high levels of environmental pollution. Each vessel can produce, depending on the job, up to 275K tonnes of CO2 over its lifetime. And can require up

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Think of a future where the offshore wind supply chain connects in real time. Picture a wind turbine technician installing, maintaining, and fixing components with the support of shore-side staff connected through their eyes and ears. The experts are supporting the technicians through every step of a critical job. Envision the crew of a CTV conducting an underwater visual inspection of the foundation and transition piece, then automatically storing the video footage. It is seamlessly uploaded to the cloud then quickly reviewed by the manufacturer engineering team. These capabilities are a reality through IoT technology, and they are available now. A downtime event can cost millions of dollars and last days, sometimes weeks, where the wind turbine is not operating. An expert might need to fly in from another country to fix the problem. Not only is this costly and time consuming, but it also leaves a carbon footprint: a roundtrip flight from Logan International Airport in Boston to Heathrow, London, for example, emits approximately 1.53 tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Now, imagine a trained technician putting on a pair of glasses that allow an entire resource team to see what he or she sees, and they can assess

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Smart turbines: embedded intelligence is the next engine growth factor for the automotive industry. Specialists estimate that in less than 10 years, the software element will represent 60% of the value of a vehicle, compared to 20% today. When you think about the pace of change in the wind industry today, we can expect a similar trajectory. Both the wind and automotive industries are based on the design and manufacture of mechanical devices, even though neither size nor age can be compared. Over the last few years, the automotive industry has been confronted with an unparalleled digital disruption. From electronic engines driving to breakdown diagnosis software, it reached even deeper levels with the intelligent connected autonomous vehicle. Subjects as complex as data protection held by a vehicle soon emerged. This evolution has been achieved through the integration of innovative software technologies, powerful data processing and AI, which are taking an increasingly important space in the vehicle value chain, and represent a potential business in terms of monetizable services. Without these developments, historical car manufacturers could have been on the verge of disappearing altogether, swept away by the new mobility solutions that are developing at high speed. Such innovations do not necessarily come

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The offshore wind energy industry has seen enormous growth in recent years and it doesn’t look to be slowing down anytime soon. Those in the industry will know the stats: the offshore wind energy market is forecast to reach $42bn by 2025, growing at a CAGR of 13.6% from 2020 to 2025. The focus for clean, renewable energy is growing worldwide, evidenced by President Biden who in January signed an Executive Order that includes doubling offshore wind power generation in U.S federal waters by 2030. In October last year the UK Government, already home to the largest offshore wind market in the world, announced a £160m injection into the industry to upgrade ports and infrastructure. Vietnam has big plans to increase its proportion of power from wind and solar from 10% in 2019 to 42% of the national grid by 2045. Although most current locations are onshore, they are already making great strides to achieve that goal ahead of schedule, with their next big push in offshore wind off their southern coast. Renewable energy is a global cause, a skim through renewable news sites reveals new projects being commissioned on an almost weekly basis and with that progress comes the

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The UK’s offshore wind industry is forecast to account for a quarter of the world’s offshore wind capacity by 2022. It will also be the only country in the world to generate more wind power off the coast than on land There is growing pressure from public and private bodies to avert the climate crisis by moving away from traditional fossil fuel power sources towards low carbon solutions. The growth in clean energy projects, such as wind power and solar, is a step in the right direction for a sustainable future. The UK’s wind, solar and nuclear industry trade bodies have made a call to action demanding the government to set ambitious targets to deliver a net zero power grid by 2035. Investing in cleaner and greener energy is a priority to push fossil fuel power off the grid. Renewables and other clean technologies, wind power, solar power, geothermal power, hydropower, battery storage, fuel cells, biofuels, and more, have grown dramatically in adoption in the past ten years. This growth has been driven in large part by falling costs. Unlike fossil fuels, which must be extracted, shipped, processed, and combusted to generate energy, cleantech is precisely that: technology. Like all technology, as

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