When Norwegian offshore oil & gas giant Equinor set out a ‘roadmap’ for its global floating wind ambitions five years ago as it brought online the world’s first commercial project, the UK’s Hywind Scotland, southern Europe looked very much a distant strategic horizon, with the continent’s northern seas, Asia-Pacific and even the US west coast seen as likely sooner to materialise as commercial markets.

But shifts in government policy in several key EU countries – hinged on lofty capacity targets and flagship commercial-scale floating wind auctions – are now putting long-simmering plays off France, Portugal, Greece, Italy, and notably of late Spain in a position to heat up quickly.