O&M opinions and insights for the offshore wind industry

Offshore wind energy can be competitive

Offshore wind energy can be more competitive if the logistic costs are reduced, states new research just out.

Research findings indicate that logistics makes up at least 17% of offshore wind OpEx costs. Innovations and cost savings are needed to ensure that wind energy can be competitive with other renewables as well as more traditional dark energy forms. A great example of an extremely relevant support industry to wind energy is that of shipping and logistics.

Significant logistics efforts are required

To operate and maintain a wind farm for up to 25 years, significant logistics efforts are required and this is the topic of an academic journal article produced by Thomas Poulsen, Charlotte Bay Hasager, and Christian Munk Jensen. Their research presents findings within the area of O&M logistics and brings forward new analyses of government sponsored studies of wind farm levelized costs of energy.  The conclusion is; logistics is a significant cost driver within the 20-25 year life-cycle phase of offshore wind but cost savings are possible

“Asset management is not an easy task and nowhere is it more challenging than for wind turbines operating in the harsh sea environment located offshore. In our latest research, we look at the logistics related to the operations and maintenance of offshore wind. Our research is based on a 20-month case study with team members from various companies and organizations operating within the offshore wind industry”, Thomas Poulsen says.

Research reveals

He further explains that using an example of 1 in 5 business cases produced in an industry-wide cost reduction initiative in a Danish setting, the research reveals that practical cost-out measures are feasible within the area of O&M. A comparison of 11 largely government sponsored cost reduction studies reveal that logistics costs are not commonly agreed upon nor easily defined. Further focus is needed to improve on this important area.

“We found that there is great disparity between how calculations are made, what is included/excluded in the calculation assumptions, and how actual results are computed. These findings make the studies biased at best and therefore very difficult to utilize. We dove deeper into the area of logistics with an analysis and perused the pertinent details of all the studies, concentrating on the Operational Expenditure with a focus on operations and maintenance. Again, we found that the studies varied greatly even for cost line items that – within the field of logistics – ought to be fairly straight forward and easily comparable,” reveals Thomas Poulsen.


Read more

If you wish to download the full journal article for free using open access, please use this link:http://www.mdpi.com/1996-1073/10/4/464/htm