Equinor, Ørsted Spearheading Offshore Wind Coalition

January 13, 2020

An offshore wind farm / Image: Equinor
An offshore wind farm / Image: Equinor

Norwegian energy firm Equinor and Danish offshore wind power company Ørsted will lead a newly formed international Ocean Renewable Energy Action Coalition aimed to boost the sustainable deployment of ocean-based renewable energy and mitigate the harmful impacts of climate change.

Ocean-based renewable energy—such as offshore wind, floating solar, tidal and wave power—could meet nearly 10% of the annual greenhouse gas emissions reductions needed by 2050 to keep global temperatures under 1.5ºC above pre-industrial levels, according to a report released by the High-Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy, as cited by Equinor on Monday.

Most of this climate change mitigation potential is expected to come from offshore wind, Equinor said.

According to Equinor's statement, bringing together civil society, intergovernmental institutions, and industry, the Action Coalition will represent the offshore wind sector in the global dialogue on climate action.

It will be spearheaded by Ørsted and Equinor. The group also includes CWind, Global Marine Group, JERA, MHI Vestas, Mainstream Renewable Power, Shell, Siemens Gamesa, TenneT and The Crown Estate.

The Action Coalition was formed in response to the September 2019 Call for Ocean-Based Climate Action made by the High-Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy, with additional partners including Global Wind Energy Council and the UN Global Compact, Equinor said,

Benj Sykes, vice president at Ørsted: "If we’re serious about fighting the climate crisis, it’s vital we decarbonize the world’s energy use as quickly as possible through technologies like offshore wind. The Ocean Renewable Energy Action Coalition will work together to accelerate the opportunity presented by ocean renewables to achieve the Paris Agreement goals,” says

Stephen Bull, senior vice president for wind and low carbon at Equinor: "Collaboration between nations and companies is needed to accelerate the sustainable deployment of ocean renewable energy. This Action Coalition includes leading industry players in offshore wind and we are working together to unleash the full potential of offshore wind globally."

"Driven by a small number of countries initially, offshore wind is now on a spectacular cost reduction path It is capable of producing clean energy at a tremendous scale and will be a key technology to enable the energy transition and to support a sustainable future," Equinor said Monday.

Equinor, which still generates most of its revenue from its oil and gas business, in 2018 changed its name from Statoil to Equinor to match its plan to advance from being a pure-play oil and gas company to becoming a “broad energy major.”

In the offshore wind space, Equinor has led the development of the world's first floating wind farm with the Hywind project in Scotland and it has developed the Batwind battery storage solution aimed at storing energy produced from an offshore wind farm.

Worth noting, the company in September 2019, together with SSE, won a contract to build three wind farms on Dogger Bank off Britain, which the Norwegian firm said together would form the world's largest offshore development. The project will call for an $11.30 billion investment between 2020 and 2026.

According to Rystad Energy, the offshore wind project Dogger Bank in the UK North Sea will not only be Equinor’s largest project through 2026, but it will also rank as the sixth-largest offshore development project in the world during this period.

In the global world of offshore, the Dogger Bank investments will rival key Brazilian deepwater oil projects such as Mero and Lula. 

Apart from "conventional" offshore wind developments, Equinor is also working on wind farms aimed at powering its offshore oil and gas installations.

In October 2019, Equinor made a final investment decision (FID) for the Hywind Tampen offshore wind farm development which will power its oil platforms at the Snorre and Gullfaks fields.

The oil and gas platforms will be the first-ever powered by a floating offshore wind farm. The wind farm will be located some 140 kilometers from shore in 260-300 meters of water between the Snorre and Gullfaks platforms.



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