Offshore wind energy could produce up to twice as much energy as onshore! Seeking to capture the tremendous potential of marine winds, ENGIE is investing in major offshore wind projects, both bottom-fixed and floating, in order to actively participate in the emergence of a sustainable industrial sector. The Group's ambition is to become a leader in certain complex renewable technologies, including offshore wind energy.
What is offshore wind energy?
An ocean wind turbine, usually called an offshore wind turbine, uses the power of marine winds to produce renewable, carbon-free energy. It works in the same way as a land-based wind turbine but can be installed in two ways: on a foundation anchored to the seabed (a so-called "bottom-fixed" foundation) or on a floating foundation simply connected to the seabed by anchor lines. With higher masts than those of onshore wind turbines, offshore wind turbines benefit from greater and more regular wind power and can therefore produce up to twice as much energy as onshore turbines.
According to various scenarios, offshore wind energy could account for up to 11.3% of power generated in Europe by 2030. At the end of 2016, 15,780 MW of capacity was installed off Europe's coasts. More than 25 000 MW of capacity will be added in the coming years (projects in progress). The growth potential of the sector is considerable in view of the extent of Europe's coastlines.
Offshore wind energy: ENGIE operates through two technologies
Bottom-fixed offshore wind energy: ENGIE projects
- A strategic partnership with EDPR
On January 23, 2020, ENGIE signed an agreement to create a new 50-50 joint venture with the Portuguese group EDPR. Its objective is to create a world leader in offshore wind energy. ENGIE and EDPR will combine their offshore wind assets, know-how, and project pipeline in the newly created joint venture, starting with a total of 1.5 GW under construction and 4 GW under development, with the objective of reaching between 5 GW and 7 GW of projects in operation or under construction and between 5 GW and 10 GW in advanced development by 2025. This alliance will result in faster growth, the launch of large-scale projects, and improved operational efficiency.
- In France: projects off the coasts of Le Tréport, Yeu and Noirmoutier islands and Dunkirk
With projects off the coasts of Dieppe-Le Tréport and the Yeu and Noirmoutier islands, ENGIE is contributing to the development of a sustainable offshore wind energy industry in France. A consortium consisting of ENGIE, EDP Renewables and Caisse des Dépôts has been selected by the French government to develop and install two offshore wind farms with a total capacity of approximately 1,000 MW. The estimated capacity of these wind farms should produce the equivalent of the energy consumption of 1.5 million inhabitants. Each of these state-of-the-art wind farms will be equipped with 62 8-megawatt wind turbines manufactured by Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy. ENGIE and its partners are carrying out these projects in close consultation with local stakeholders. To find out more and receive regular information on these projects, visit the websites of the Dieppe and Le Tréport project and the Yeu and Noirmoutier islands project.
Another project off the coast of Dunkirk: ENGIE and EDPR applied in March 2017 in the first phase of the call for tenders for the construction of an offshore wind farm with a capacity of between 250 and 750 megawatts, scheduled for commissioning in 2022.
- The Mermaid project in the North Sea
ENGIE Electrabel, a subsidiary of ENGIE, is a partner in the Otary consortium (65%) in the Mermaid North Sea project in Belgium. This wind farm was awarded its first offshore permit on April 15, 2016 and is expected to be operational in 2020. Between 27 and 41 wind turbines will be installed for a total capacity of around 250 MW. The Mermaid project will produce enough electricity to cover the annual consumption of 286,000 Belgian households while reducing CO2 emissions by 367,000 tonnes each year.