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Recharge unveils shortlist for world's first floating wind award

First Floating Wind Power Player of the Year to be announced at gala on eve of FOWT18 in Marseille

Recharge, the global renewable energy news and intelligence platform, has unveiled the contenders for the world’s first-ever floating wind power sector award.

To be announced onboard a VIP cruise on the eve of FOWT18 in Marseille in April, the Recharge Floating Wind Power Player of the Year award will recognise a pioneer, innovator or influencer in the fast-emerging energy sector.

“When we launched Recharge in 2009, the first floating wind turbine was being moored off Norway. Now there is every expectation that the floating wind fleet could expand to as much as 12GW by 2030, with major developments in every offshore region of the world,” commented Recharge Editor-in-Chief Darius Snieckus, who is convening FOWT18, where close to 1,000 delegates are expected.

“The speed of development we have seen in the sector has been awe-inspiring. Yet, the industrialisation that is going to have to take place to reach this installed capacity will be even more so.”

‘Floating wind is quickly becoming a bankable technology’

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Paul de la Guérivière, chief executive of Ideol, which is sponsoring the inaugural award, said: “Ideol is proud to be the sponsor as well as the initiator of this award ceremony.

“This event will not be about laurelling one or the other technology or company, but rather will be all about recognising the exceptional contribution of one individual who – through his or her work and vision – managed to put floating offshore wind in the limelight and on a faster track towards technological and/or commercial readiness.”

Recharge is running an online poll, where readers can vote on a shortlist of contenders. See panel below for the list of candidates then cast your vote here.

To coincide with the award ceremony Recharge editors are curating a collection of opinion pieces from some of floating wind’s most influential thought leaders.

FOWT’s main event, conference and exhibition, now in its third year, takes place at the prestigious seaside Palais du Pharo in Marseille on 25-26 April, with a third day recently added on 27 April to cover technical and academic papers and presentations being organised at Marseille’s Ecole Centrale.

Latest calculations from WindEurope point to 350MW of floating wind capacity being switched on in Europe by 2021 via 10 projects off the UK, France, Portugal and Norway.

From a single industrial-scale prototype in 2009, floating wind has progressed at a clip toward commercialisation. A year ago, analysts were forecasting a global market of around 3.5GW by 2030; now the consensus is 5-6GW, with UK low-carbon business development body Carbon Trust expecting anywhere between 3GW and 12GW.

The contenders

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Finn Gunnar Nielsen

Finn Gunnar Nielsen, professor at the Geophysical Institute at University of Bergen, Norway, has long specialised offshore wind energy. He held his primary positions at Norsk Hydro and, after the merger with compatriot state-owned oil & gas company Statoil in 2007, the Statoil R&D department, where his research focused on the interaction between waves, wind and current and structural dynamics. In 2002, Nielsen started up a small group working on the question of how wind turbines could be located at deep water sites, resulting in the first design of the Hywind floating wind turbine. In 2009, this work reached fruition with installation of the world’s first full scale multi-megawatt floating wind turbine, the Hywind Demo, a design which has since led to the development of the world’s first floating wind array, the 30MW in Hywind Scotland wind farm, in the UK North Sea, switched on in October 2017.

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Johan Sandberg

Johan Sandberg has been working with floating wind turbine technology throughout his 10 years with DNV GL. He led the development of DNV GL’s first design standard for floating turbines, and has been responsible for the WIN WIN project, a long-view initiative aimed at integrating floating wind turbines into the oil & gas industry to advance the technology while sustainably extending the producing life of ageing offshore fields. When DNV and GL merged in 2013, Sandberg was responsible for the renewables division’s contribution of the 2050 vision developed by the company and focused on floating wind turbines. Part of this work resulted in the Nigashima Shelf project, an inspirational imagining of how floating wind power could be at the heart of a worldwide revolution in the ‘blue economy’, which has led to DNV GL developing a range of initiatives design to accelerate the advancement of the floating wind industry.

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Takeshi Ishihara

Takeshi Ishihara, professor at the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Tokyo, Japan, has been at the forefront of floating wind technology development in his country and internationally. From heading up early work in dynamic response prediction of floating wind turbines in offshore conditions for the Japanese government in 2008, he went on to spearhead the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organisation’s next-generation floating offshore wind turbine project that led, in 2011, to construction of the world’s first multi-unit floating wind development, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry-funded 14MW Fukushima Forward project, on which he continues to serve as technical advisor . Ishihara is currently running the advanced wind power technology programme for a joint venture comprising Hitachi, ClassNK and Shimizu Corporation. He is also president of the Japanese Wind Energy Association.

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