A high-powered cadre of European offshore wind players have signed up to work with government-industry body the Carbon Trust to hatch a plan to “measure and address” carbon emissions linked to construction and installation of turbines at seal, with a first focus on steel, cement and fuels.
The group – a sector who’s-who including BP, EnBW, Fred Olsen Seawind, Orsted, Parkwind, RWE, ScottishPower, Shell, SSE, TotalEnergies and Vattenfall – aims to spur the international industry to scale “as sustainably as possible and continue its contribution” toward meeting global 2050 net zero targets by greening of everything from materials used in building plants to operation of turbines in the waters off Europe.
“Global climate targets cannot be met without stepping up renewable energy generation, and offshore wind is particularly crucial to the world’s transition away from fossil fuels,” said Carbon Trust offshore wind director Jan Matthiesen.
“Now it’s time to turn our attention to supporting innovation and scaling up sustainably in order to create a more resilient and competitive industry. [This] global set of developers’ collective voice has the potential to take the industry to the next level.”
“While offshore wind energy generation has a significantly lower carbon impact than fossil fuels, the sector must also work collaboratively to de-couple its own value chain from carbon and resource-intensive models of production, deployment and operation, addressing key hotspots such as steel, cement and fuels.”
The group’s first project is targeting a standardised methodology to allow developers to calculate the lifecycle emissions of offshore wind assets, from upstream supply chain emissions through construction and into operations, with an eye on spotlight on “key carbon emission drivers and hotspots in the offshore wind value chain and wind farm life cycle”.
Catrin Jung, head of Vattenfall’s offshore wind business unit, said: “We want to accelerate fossil free living with the power of renewables. And within that we aim to be sustainable in everything we do, including the full value chain – how to achieve that? That is the challenge we are working on and we are ready to take it up.
“[This]initiative will support us in our ambition and will also bring industry players from different parts of the value chain together to jointly achieve the goal of decarbonisation.”
The Carbon Trust highlighted that while over 55GW of offshore wind had already been installed by the start of last year, the International Energy Agency has calculated a further 70-80GW a year will need to be built annually from 2030 in order to achieve net zero by mid-century.
Matthieson added of the project, being being delivered as part of the Carbon Trust’s Offshore Wind Sustainability Joint Industry Programme,: “Our experience working with the industry through various joint industry projects is proof that collaboration is key,” noting that a first plan is expected to be released for use across the industry “by 2025”.