There is rarely a quiet week in offshore wind, and this one was no exception as another big global player entered the sector and there was a flurry of interest in a brand-new potential market.
The new entrant in question is Chevron, the supermajor that became the first US oil & gas group to make a foray into offshore wind when it partnered with Norwegian industrial group Moreld to prototype a new floating design from technology developer Ocergy – a move reported exclusively first by Recharge.
Chevron was not the only player forging alliances in offshore wind. Contractors DEME and Worley also separately announced key partnerships this week with a view to opportunities in Japan and Taiwan respectively.
Those two nations are rated among the world’s most promising offshore wind markets over the next 10 years, but the sector beyond 2030 is expected to see activity in a multitude of new geographies. They look set to include the Caspian Sea, subject this week of a new memorandum of understanding between the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Azerbaijan’s ministry of energy.
The Caspian was also rated along with the Black Sea as an area to watch by analyst Aegir Insights as it began coverage of eight future offshore wind markets, while Wood Mackenzie urged developers to start looking at Black Sea potential now for deployment next decade.
One market where offshore wind take-off is beyond doubt is the US, and Recharge this week carried an exclusive interview with industry pioneer and US Wind CEO Jeff Grybowski, who labelled the government’s new 30GW goal by 2030 “an achievable number”.
If there’s one sector that could give offshore wind a run for its money in the ambition stakes it is hydrogen.
Recharge was delighted to do its part to cut through the noise around hydrogen with some much-needed insight via our first ever Power Station podcast, featuring Shell’s vice president for hydrogen Paul Bogers, Agora Energiewende’s Gniewomir Flis and our own Leigh Collins. The session can be heard in catch-up form here and on major platforms.
This week also brought another clutch of moves by major power and energy sector players to position themselves for the coming H2 boom.
In the UK, Iberdrola unveiled plans to wire its 540MW Whitelee wind plant in the Scottish Highlands together with a solar array, battery facility and Britain’s largest electrolyser to create a new giant hydrogen production complex.
On the other side of the world, RWE entered an agreement with an Australian developer to secure green H2 for import to Germany, while in what could be an ominous sign of the times for liquified natural gas, Uniper dropped plans to equip a German port for LNG and instead unveiled proposals for a hydrogen hub there.
And now for Recharge Agenda’s final flourish, which brought the two themes above – offshore wind & hydrogen – together for a high-level Digital Roundtable that attracted the interest of thousands of attendees to hear experts from Equinor, Iberdrola, Siemens Gamesa, Aker Offshore Wind, The World Bank and Wood Mackenzie.
The event moderated by Editor-in-Chief Darius Snieckus heard that the two sectors are “uniquely suited” but need to rapidly prove they can work reliably together and move to large scale if they are to achieve their joint potential.
The Digital Roundtable added to Recharge’s recent feature exploring the marriage between two of the hottest prospects in the energy transition.