Offshore wind power

 

Offshore wind power has the potential to generate up to twice as much power as onshore! ENGIE is investing in major fixed and floating offshore wind power projects in Europe to capture the enormous potential offered by this source of energy and make an active contribution to the long-term development of this emerging industry.

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Offshore wind turbines can be installed in one of two ways: either on a foundation permanently attached to the seabed (a 'fixed' installation) or on a floating base anchored to the seabed.

 

Offshore turbines harness the power of sea winds to generate energy in the form of electricity. © Adwen

 

The floating offshore wind turbine is a technology of the future, and offers the benefit of being able to operate in extremely windy deepwater areas far from the coast.

 

What is offshore wind power?

 

Offshore wind turbines harness the power of sea winds to generate carbon-free renewable energy. They work in exactly the same way as onshore generators; the only difference being that it is installed at sea and is either anchored to the seabed or mounted on a floating structure. Using masts much higher than those of onshore turbines, offshore wind generators can generate up to twice as much energy than their onshore counterparts, because they can rely on higher and more consistent wind speeds.

 

Last year, offshore wind farms achieved a new level of total generating capacity, with more than 4,000 MW worldwide. The majority of this growth came from two new projects; one in Germany (2,400 MW) and the other in China (500 MW). These two countries lead the industry alongside the UK, which still boasts the largest offshore wind generating capacity (5,400 MW of installed capacity at the end of 2015*)

 

Fixed offshore wind power projects run by ENGIE

 

  • In France: the projects at Le Tréport and the islands of Yeu and Noirmoutier and Dunkerque
    With its projects off Dieppe and Le Tréport and the islands of Yeu and Noirmoutier, ENGIE is making a significant contribution to the development of a long-term offshore wind power industry in France. The consortium of ENGIE, EDP Renewables and la Caisse des Dépôts has been awarded the government contract to develop and install two offshore wind parks with combined power generating potential of 1,000 MW. The estimated generating capacity of these wind farms should therefore be sufficient to meet the energy needs of 1.5 million consumers. At the cutting edge of innovation, each of these wind farms will have 62 Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy 8 MW wind turbines. ENGIE and its partners are implementing these projects in close cooperation with local stakeholders. To find out more and receive regular updates on these projects, visit the websites for the Dieppe and Le Tréport project and the project for the islands of Yeu and Noirmoutier.

 

  • The Mermaid project in the North Sea
    ENGIE Group company ENGIE Electrabel is working as part of the Otary consortium (65%) on the Mermaid project in the Belgian North Sea. This wind park was granted its first offshore permit on April 15 this year, and is expected to become a reality in 2020. Between 27 and 41 wind turbines will be installed here to deliver a total generating capacity of around 250 MW. The Mermaid project will generate enough electricity to meet the annual consumption needs of 286,000 Belgian households, reducing the country's CO2 emissions by 367,000 metric tons per year.

 

Floating wind turbines: generating power in the deep offshore

 

Offshore wind power

 

 

Like fixed offshore wind turbines, the floating wind turbine generates electricity by converting the mechanical energy of the wind. But its floating structure enables it to generate power a long way offshore in deep water where the sea winds are stronger and more consistent. Another benefit is its ease of installation, since there is no need to cast solid foundations or to use the kind of specialist construction vessels needed for fixed offshore wind turbines. At between 15 and 22 km from the coast, the visual and maritime impact of these windfarms is also relatively low.

 

Floating wind power technology may still be at the pilot plant stage, but this sector is of strategic importance for coastal regions in terms of jobs, industry and ecology. The technically exploitable potential of floating wind power in Europe is estimated at 600 GW, compared with 250 GW for fixed offshore wind power*.

 

Floating offshore wind power projects run by ENGIE

 

  • The WindFloat Atlantic project in Portugal
    ENGIE is already involved in floating offshore wind power development with the WindFloat Atlantic project off the north coast of Portugal in partnership with EDP Renewables, Mitsubishi Corp., Chiyoda Corp. and Repsol. Planned to enter service by the end of 2018, this pilot installation will use 3 or 4 generators to provide a total generating capacity of 25 MW, and will be built on semi-submersible foundations designed by Principle Power.
  • The expansion of the French offshore wind industry
    The Mediterranean coast of France is particularly well suited to the development of offshore renewables, which is why ADEME launched its Pilot Floating Wind Farm call for projects on August 5 last year. Its aim is to install pre-commercial wind farms in four clearly defined areas (three in Languedoc-Roussillon and one in Brittany).

    The consortium of ENGIE, EDP Renewables, Caisse des Dépôts and Eiffage submitted a joint project focusing on the area off Leucate on the Mediterranean coast; France's most promising offshore wind power resource. Their Golfe du Lion Floating Wind Power project is being designed in close consultation with local stakeholders, and will include between 3 and 6 wind turbines, each rated at 6 MW. They will be used in conjunction with an integrated semi-submersible floater from Eiffage Métal. Developed by Principle Power, the concept has been tested off the Portuguese coast since 2011. This solution is the most promising technology in today's market.

 

IFP Energies nouvelles

Onshore wind power

 

Energy transition requires us to rethink the methods we use to generate energy, which are now increasingly decentralized, digitized and decarbonized.

 

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ENGIE is keen to contribute to more harmonious progress, combining technical expertise and sustainability and bridging the gap between individual interests and collective needs.

 

Today, the momentum of investments is tending toward assets with low-level carbon emissions. In 2017, over 85% of newly installed power capacity in Europe was renewable (source: Wind Europe 2017). Thanks to technological developments and a boost in investments, production costs have been made increasingly competitive. Installation costs for wind power facilities have fallen significantly, dropping by 25% since 2010 (source: International Energy Agency 2017).

 

We are making this harmonious progress possible in particular by accelerating our development in renewables, which now constitute 20% of the Group’s electricity production capacity mix. And 91% of our activities are now low-carbon (ENGIE Integrated Report 2017). Our aim is to attain a fully decarbonized world. It is to this end that ENGIE is developing decentralized, local and renewable solutions for energy production. Wind energy is one of them.

 

If you have any innovative ideas that will help encourage energy transition, reply to one of our calls for projects or make your suggestion for an innovative solution on innovation.engie.com, our dedicated platform.

 

What is onshore wind power ?

 

wind power plant is a device that converts the kinetic energy of the wind into mechanical energy, which is then turned into electricity. The wind power plant therefore uses wind speed to produce renewable energy with very low greenhouse gas emissions or waste. Onshore wind power plants are installed on land, unlike offshore plants, which are in the sea.

 

The electric power produced by a wind plant varies according to three essential parameters: the shape and length of the blades, the speed of the wind and the temperature which modifies the density of the air. Wind power plants must respect European standards of design and construction. In particular, since 2008 they have been subject to technical inspection.

 

What are the benefits of onshore wind power ?

 

Onshore wind power has the advantage of being limitless, clean and economically favourable. It is an inexhaustible resource (wind itself being indeed an endless resource), available locally, variable, yet predictable (there are generally more and stronger winds in winter when demand for electricity is higher).

 

Wind power does not produce greenhouse gases. By 2020, it is estimated that it will have enabled emissions to be reduced by approximately 16 million tonnes.

 

Wind power constitutes competitive energy at limited cost to the end consumer. Since 1993, we have seen rapid growth (40%) in the manufacture of wind power plants. This market, destined to grow at 20% per year over coming years, has already created more than 80,000 jobs in Europe.

 

Read about examples of our projects!

 

  • Darwin and the Renewable Energy Control Center, an innovative concept
    The only one of its kind in Europe, this center ensures the remote management and safety of 100 wind farms and 17 solar power plants (totaling 825 wind turbines and 105,000 solar panels) in France, Belgium, Italy, Germany, Poland, Romania and the Netherlands, chiefly through the Darwin app, a unique digital platform for managing data from our renewable power generation facilities.

     
  • Crowdfunded wind energy projects, or involving local residents in producing local electricity
    Crowdfunding is above all a means of enabling individuals to take part in ambitious projects and to have a stake in their completion. Through cooperative wind projects, ENGIE not only enables communities to benefit from locally produced clean energy, it also allows them the chance to make their voices heard and to be rewarded for their involvement.

     
  • Blockchain technology guarantees the traceability of green electricity
    AIR PRODUCTS and ENGIE are jointly innovating with the signature of a contract that will make it possible to trace and certify green energy thanks to blockchain technology. The contract has created a revolution in the customer/supplier relationship by establishing an approach of partnership and traceability of the manufacturing chain of the finished product using green energy.

 

Onshore wind power