Floating offshore wind farms: a rich sea change may help oil majors

floating offshore wind farms rich
Gulf
  • Date: 07/22/2021
  • Source: Financial Times
  • Sector: Agriculture
  • Country: Gulf

Floating offshore wind farms: a rich sea change may help oil majors

Turbulence is picking up in the wind energy business. Siemens Gamesa has warned on profits three times. At best, the Spanish turbine maker will break even this year. Undeterred, oil companies are teaming up with generators to tackle the next frontier: floating offshore wind. Shell and Iberdrola have declared a planto develop large floating wind farms off the coast of Scotland, as have BP, Equinor and RWE. Crown Estate Scotland said on Thursday that offers would be made to successful bidders for ScotWind leases in January. Floating offshore wind represents an opportunity for oil companies to bring expertise in deep water exploration and drilling to renewable energy. Floating generation could capture up to 80 per cent of available offshore wind resources. The catch is that costs are double those of turbines permanently fixed to the seabed. Commodity inflation is unlikely to change that differential. But the gap could test the premise that renewables are the cheap power option of the future.  Siemens Gamesa's problems relate to onshore wind farms in Brazil, however. Difficulties in the local supply chain for its 5X platform plus the doubling of the steel price this year have hit profits. Shares have lost almost a third…