Offshore in peril, says Iberdrola exec

This will be the year of offshore infrastructure
Offshore wind risks having no future beyond 2020 unless costs are driven down, warned Iberdrola renewables chief executive Xabier Viteri.

Viteri  said the cost pressure comes amid “very tight” business conditions due to weak power demand, the need for financial partners, regulatory risks and competition from other renewable energy sources.

Unfortunately, as new offshore wind parks are increasingly moving into deeper waters, the unit cost per megawatt hour of electricity produced recently has actually been increasing instead of going down, he laments.

“My perception is that if we are not able to achieve a big cost reduction, the industry isn’t going to run beyond 2020,” Viteri told a panel of industry leaders at the EWEA 2014 conference in Barcelona.

The offshore wind industry so far has relied too much on systems coming from the offshore oil and gas supply chain – which is not driven by cost reduction, but by maximising production, the Iberdrola executive explained.

To bring costs down, the offshore wind industry now needs to invest more in research and development and has to see innovation in logistics, transport and operation, he said.

“It is difficult to foresee now a moment when offshore wind is going to be competitive with onshore,” Viteri said.

“In order to see that this industry has some chances of development post-2020, we have to achieve a reduction of 40%, or over 40%.”

Iberdrola is the world’s biggest operator of onshore wind, and currently is building up a sizeable offshore wind pipeline, including the 400MW Wikinger project in the German part of the Baltic Sea, for which it expects to take a final investment decision in the first half of 2014.

Brazil approves QGER wind start-up

02 September 2014 05:21 GMT

Warnings on UK funding mechanism

02 September 2014 03:56 GMT

TenneT: Offshore lag continues

02 September 2014 03:16 GMT

Two extra years for Kriegers Flak

02 September 2014 03:07 GMT

Move on Brazilian local content

02 September 2014 10:59 GMT

Heritage fears sink wind project

02 September 2014 12:07 GMT

250MW of Polish wind sold

02 September 2014 11:41 GMT

JDR nets Dudgeon cable deal

02 September 2014 11:16 GMT

INTERVIEW: Hermann Albers, BWE

02 September 2014 09:05 GMT

Atlantic Array data made public

02 September 2014 09:46 GMT

IN DEPTH: Europe's wind capital

02 September 2014 09:15 GMT

Vestas gets 58MW Poland order

01 September 2014 05:44 GMT

IN DEPTH: UK offshore game-changer

02 September 2014 09:12 GMT

Glennmont round raises €500m

01 September 2014 04:34 GMT

Scots grant licence for EOWDC

01 September 2014 03:00 GMT

IN DEPTH: Siemens' bid to stay top

01 September 2014 09:13 GMT

Aikengall extension opposed

01 September 2014 02:31 GMT

Drive to cut UK offshore costs

01 September 2014 01:21 GMT

Met Office launches German service

01 September 2014 12:43 GMT

Mainstream switches strategy

01 September 2014 12:29 GMT

Become a Recharge subscriber!

Or try our free trial.

Order Subscription

Already a member?


Recharge Monthly Magazine