The part-scale prototype of Aerodyn Engineering’s twin-rotored Nezzy2 floating wind power concept hoves through the waves during a two-month trials for developer EnBW in the the Bay of Greifswald off German.

The 18-metre-tall unit, which bristles with 180 sensors taking 30 different measurements of the design’s performance in different wind and wave coditions, rode out storm Gisele in mid-October in an environment “equivalent to a category four to five hurricane with waves reaching heights of up to 30 metres”, said Aerodyn managing director Sönke Siegfriedsen.

For one and a half days, we were able to observe how Nezzy² remained stable in the water in extreme weather conditions. Our tests have shown that our model is now ready to be tested in the sea on a full-size scale,” said Siegfriedsen.

Hannah König, head of wind and maritime technology at EnBW, added: “We want to use the floating wind turbines ourselves for our international offshore projects [in water depth of 50 metres and deeper]. That is why we are really delighted that this technology can now be further developed with our support.”

The data collected from the tests of the Nezzy2 part-scale prototype is to be incorporated in the design of the first full-scale unit, which is set to be tested in China “at the end of 2021 or start of 2022”.

Recent market analysis from UK-based international low carbon advisory body the Carbon Trust calculates over 70GW of floating wind could be turning by 2040 – a near-1,000-fold expansion of the current global fleet – as international supply chains take shape to support development of commercial-scale projects around the world.

The forecast sees up to 10.7GW of floating wind globally by 2030, before the market mushrooms, with a total project value approaching €220bn ($250bn) by the end of next decade. DNV GL, in its latest Energy Transition Outlook, forecasts some 260GW of floating wind turning by 2050, but hinges on the sector reducing levellised cost of energy to €40-60/MWh from levels today that are three times that.