RWE sees opportunities for offshore wind7 April 2022
When it comes to identifying potential for offshore wind, RWE is looking well beyond Europe, with a number of new initiatives in Asia, for example
A notable recent development is an agreement between RWE and Tata Power to explore the potential for joint development of offshore wind projects in India.
India is seen as “an unexplored and highly attractive market to develop opportunities for offshore wind", not least because it has about 7600 km of coastline. Also, the Indian government has aspirations of seeing 30 GW of offshore wind built by 2030.
Dr Praveer Sinha, CEO and managing director of Tata Power, says: “RWE is our ideal partner to support Tata Power’s plans to enhance and grow an offshore wind business based on its global expertise in running and operating offshore wind projects.”
“If clear regulations and an effective tender scheme are in place, we expect India’s offshore wind industry will gain a real momentum”, said Sven Utermo¨hlen, CEO, offshore wind, RWE Renewables. "RWE wants to be part of this development."
The Indian government is in the process of conducting detailed technical studies and devising the regulatory framework to establish the first auctions for offshore wind off the coast of Tamil Nadu and Gujarat.
To facilitate the establishment of an offshore wind market in India, RWE and Tata say they will conduct technical and commercial site assessments. They will also evaluate the Indian offshore wind supply chain and supporting infrastructure, such as ports and grid connections, to identify “local strengths as well as necessary development potential.”
RWE plans to contribute technical and commercial expertise gained from the operation of 17 offshore wind farms in five countries, and the development and construction of some of the world’s most advanced offshore wind farms. By 2030, RWE intends to triple its global offshore wind capacity from currently 2.4 GW to 8 GW (RWE share of capacity only). The company says it plans to recruit offshore wind experts from Europe, alongside staff from India, with the aim of transferring knowledge from established offshore markets to India, to drive down costs and operate offshore wind farms to the highest industry standards.
Tata Power will contribute its deep understanding of the Indian electricity market and its regulation, as well as the supply chain, to ensure effective project delivery.
Gaining momentum in Taiwan
The fact that offshore wind is gaining momentum in Taiwan has also not been lost on RWE. Some 9 GW of offshore wind is due to be auctioned over the next three years. Against this backdrop, RWE and Asia Cement Corporation (ACC) intend to expand their existing strategic partnership to jointly drive the growth of offshore wind in Taiwan and “the country’s transition from imported fossils fuels to home grown renewables.”
The partners intend to jointly develop new offshore wind projects off the west coast of Taiwan – in the county waters of Hsinchu, Taichung and Changhua. Some of the sites are in water depths appropriate for floating offshore wind, allowing RWE to apply experience gained from three full-size floating demonstrator projects (in the USA (VolturnUS/New England Aqua Ventus), Spain (DemoSATH) and Norway (TetraSpar). “This perfectly complements the local expertise and market know-how of ACC.”
RWE and ACC are already collaborating successfully in the development of the Chu Feng offshore wind project, which has a planned installed capacity of up to 448 MW.
Floating options in South Korea
Meanwhile, RWE and Ulsan City are planning to co-operate on the development of floating offshore wind projects off the South Korean coast with an envisaged capacity of up to 1.5 GW. A memorandum of understanding was signed recently by RWE and Ulsan in support of South Korea’s Net Zero 2050 ambition. The country’s goal is to increase offshore wind capacity to 12 GW and achieve 30% renewables in the electricity fuel mix by 2030.
Song Chul-ho, mayor of Ulsan said: “South Korea is transforming its energy mix from nuclear power and coal to renewable energy. Our regional goal is that Ulsan City becomes carbon neutral by 2050. To reach this, we have to harness the good wind resources off the Ulsan coast....The Ulsan region offers a combination of industry-leading shipyards, maritime expertise and port facilities.”
“At RWE we want to further expand our market presence in South Korea”, said Sven Utermo¨hlen, “one of the fast growing markets for offshore wind”, noting that “South Korea’s excellent wind resource in combination with deep waters close to energy demand poses a great opportunity for floating wind.”
Above: New England Aqua Ventus, one of three floating offshore wind demo projects that RWE is involved with and hopes to build on for projects in Asia