Overview of floating offshore wind
Main(e) International Consulting has published the 11th update of its floating offshore foundations overview.
The new report, which does not receive any funding from third parties, is available as a PDF for free. The press release states that the report has been completely redesigned because of its growing audience. Each project is described on a single page, and all of the information is in the public domain.
The report does not, however, rank or otherwise assess floating foundation projects, but merely provides an overview of them around the world. Because companies provide different types of information, the details provided differ from one project to the next. Most importantly, the report translates a lot of information not easily available in English up to now, including projects from Japan. Main(e) International Consulting's Annette Bossler says that all questions pertaining to specific projects should be directed to the companies behind them.
The idea of floating platforms is indeed drawing ever greater attention. An article yesterday in the Financial Times explains that interest in the technology in Japan, where land is scarce, grew after the meltdown in Fukushima. One professor has now received roughly 160 million dollars worth of startup funding to test a few turbines in the Fukushima area starting in 2013. If the trials go well, the project could grow to 150 floating wind turbines with a total capacity of one gigawatt by the end of this decade.
Although offshore wind power is considerably more expensive than onshore wind (roughly twice as expensive as a rule of thumb), the wind is more constant offshore, so power production is more reliable, as recent offshore projects in Germany have shown. And with land being so expensive in Japan, the price may indeed be relative. (Craig Morris)