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Offshore Wind Ports Platform

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WindEurope brings together European ports serving the wind industry. This platform intends to provide an opportunity for exchange of best practice, know-how and to jointly discuss opportunities and challenges that ports face as the offshore wind industry grows.


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WindEurope Ports Platform

Offshore wind today represents 2% of EU power demand. Europe now has a total installed offshore wind capacity of 20.4 GW (July 2019). This corresponds to more than 4,800 grid-connected wind turbines in 106 offshore wind farms across 11 countries. Offshore wind is expected to grow up to 90 GW in the next decade to comply with Europe’s environmental goals and National Energy and Climate Plans. This nearly four times the current installed capacity and will require the doubling of annual installations rate as from 2025.

What is the role of WindEurope’s Ports Platform?

As part of this energy transformation, ports are growing their businesses to support offshore wind energy in increasingly sophisticated ways. Ports actively contribute to cost reduction and efficiency.
As practices evolve, multi-port strategies mean that cooperation between ports will be stronger than ever. For this reason, WindEurope launched the Offshore Wind Ports Platform, which brings together ports with active operations and interests in offshore wind to share best practices and engage with industry and policy-makers. Through the Ports Platform, offshore wind ports share knowledge, align on communication priorities, and speak with one voice to key stakeholders.

Who are the Ports representing the Ports platform?

The Ports Platform is currently composed of 22 ports. Their expertise varies across a multitude of activities: energy, cargo, bulk, shipyard, tourism and fishing. Most of the Ports are experienced in the offshore wind industry. Together, they covered over 8,000 MW of capacity installed and over 6,000 MW of O&M, mostly in the North Sea. The Ports allocated 430 ha to offshore wind-related activities (approximately 10% of the total area of the Ports). While some Ports cover the full wind energy value chain, others are specialised in specific services (preassembly, installation, O&M, storage and production and shipping of components). Some other members, with limited or no experience in offshore wind, have joined the Platform to obtain market intelligence and experience from the other Ports. This allows them to understand whether they should enter the business and strategically plan their investments for extending or re-purposing their facilities.

How can Ports contribute to offshore wind cost reduction?

The Ports Platform commissioned a study in 2018 to assess the importance of Ports in supporting LCOE reduction for offshore wind. Under WindEurope’s central scenario to 2030 (Wind energy in Europe: scenarios for 2030, 2017), which foreseen a total of 70 GW of offshore wind (at  an installation rate of 7 GW/year, including repowering), Ports will have to serve 10,000 wind turbines for O&M, install around 460 turbines/year, repower around 1 GW/year and decommission 600 turbines/year (750 MW/year):

Ports platform annual support by 2030

Based on these figures, the Platform estimates that Ports can contribute to 5.3% of the total (direct and indirect) LCOE reduction. This corresponds to up to €3/MWh of energy produced, which is equivalent to what would be achieved by a project CAPEX reduction of €185,000/MW for a new wind farm. Thus, if a new wind farm of 30,000 MW total capacity is built from ports after investment has been made, subsequent savings will be equivalent to a project CAPEX reduction of €5.55 billion.

Ports' contribution to LCOE reduction

Without proactive investment of ports and vessel owners, and the involvement of ports and vessel operators in developing and realising the future vision, a significant LCOE reduction opportunity could be missed. To support offshore wind cost reduction, ports will need investments in the range of €0.5 – 1 billion to upgrade and adapt their facilities and machinery, representing 10-20% of the equivalent CAPEX saving. Investments will be a combination of upgrading, redesigning and adapting existing facilities, combined with new infrastructure.

What are the next steps for the Ports Platform?

For the 2020 work programme, the Ports Platform is looking into different work streams. Greening ports and related operations is a common priority. In addition, ports will continue to follow opportunities regarding storage, hydrogen and floating wind. In parallel, Ports are screening the possibility to jointly apply for regional and EU-funding programmes.

Ports platform members

For more information, contact [email protected]

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