Hitting the scale and reach needed to battle the climate emergency was a dominant theme to emerge from the Recharge Annual Summit, which this year focused on offshore wind.
The scale challenge was addressed by executives from many of the companies and bodies shaping the energy transition who gathered in Copenhagen for the Summit, now firmly established as a highlight of the renewable energy calendar.
The audience of delegates at Recharge’s largest event to date was told by one delegate that despite the huge expansion of renewables, the “message to policymakers is that it’s not enough” to limit global temperature rises to the levels required under the Paris Agreement.
Recharge Editor-in-Chief Darius Snieckus, opening the event, warned the scale-up is not happening “anywhere near rapidly enough to avert the gathering storm of climate change”.
Offshore wind can help by expanding into untapped nations such as India and Brazil, said a senior official from the world of finance, pointing to a “three-terawatt prize” of technical potential in emerging markets.
An offshore wind executive agreed that the sector is penetrating more new markets all the time, but warned that this growth is prompting increasingly robust discussions with governments over the trade-off between competitive power prices and other benefits such as local content.
Other speakers said matching offshore wind’s scale with innovation in areas like green hydrogen production could help it play a more central role in the energy transition.
A key theme of the Recharge Summit was the part floating wind power can play in helping offshore wind make the leap further from shore, opening up huge new areas of sea for development.
One speaker from the finance sector told delegates that “if you’re going to see offshore wind meet its potential in emerging markets, a lot will be floating”. An executive from the floating industry highlighted its ability to provide significant local benefits almost everywhere it operates.
The invitation-only Recharge Summit, held under non-attributable 'Chatham House' rules on the eve of the WindEurope Offshore industry event, attracted more than 70 delegates and was sponsored by GE Renewable Energy, Goldwind, DNV GL, Roxtec and MHI Vestas Offshore Wind.