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Energy industry calls for cuts to wind turbine foundation costs

Foundation costs for offshore wind farms have been identified as a key area where savings need to be made in order to make the sector more appealing to investors, according to a new report.

Wind Energy Update said that the survey of senior executives working for energy clients identified five sub areas of the sector where cost reductions are needed but twice as many respondents said that foundations were the top priority as any other part of the sector.

The report revealed that foundations represent around 19% of offshore wind farm construction costs. The report said: “For offshore wind to remain relevant, installation and operational costs must reduce. A significant reason that foundations should be the first area of cost consideration is that they are required not only for the turbines, but also for each structure in the power plant.”

Wind Energy Update managing director Tom Evans said: “The offshore wind industry faces a Catch 22 scenario – [there is a] desire to innovate and see new solutions brought to market, but realistically investors need proven track records and low risk from service providers. Simply due to the volume of foundations used on projects, there is a need to dedicate a sample section of new builds to testing, and should the tests prove conclusive, the option to roll out at scale is possible.”

Readers' comments (1)

  • When is the offshore wind lobby going to face up to the fact that offshore engineering IS expensive? For years we've been hearing that "offshore foundations are too expensive". What they really mean, (but won't say,) is that they are too expensive to make offshore wind farms financially viable, which isn't quite the same thing!

    Face facts: Offshore wind farms are an extemely expensive method of generating electricity.

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