Floating Wind

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Floating Wind

The Future of Renewables?

As technological developments continue to change the landscape of the Renewable Energy Industry, we asked our community what trends in technological advancement would be the most significant in 2024. Coming through with their thoughts, 45% of people who participated thought that floating wind would be the next big shift in the world’s green energy this year.

With this in mind, we decided to take a more in-depth look at floating wind technologies, asking our consultants for their industry insights to determine the benefits to this form of renewable energy technology.

Here at ersg, our experts stay up to date with the most recent developments in floating wind, attending conferences and events to gain insight into this growing industry. We’re here to bring you some clarification on this quickly emerging technology, what it is, and how it’s going to affect the future of renewable energy.

 

What is Floating Wind?

Wind power is stronger offshore than on land, as there are less barriers and more constant wind speeds, which provides a lot of potential for harnessing large amounts of clean energy. However, until recently, much of that power has been going to waste, due to the need for offshore wind farms to be built on fixed structures that only allowed farms to be built in shallow waters – only up to 60 meters deep.

Floating wind has emerged as a solution to this problem, allowing for wind farms to be built in deeper and more complex waters.

 

How Does it Work?

In order for the turbines to remain afloat, they need to be affixed to floating platforms. Rather than being fixed to the seabed, these platforms remain balanced through anchors and moors. As of right now, these platforms can either be made of concrete or steel, or a mix of both, depending on the conditions of the sea.

Anchoring and mooring is achieved through one of several different types of weights. Right now, there are four basic technologies: Semi-Submersible, Barge, Spar and Tensioned Legs Platform. These will differ depending on things like wind speeds in the area, seabed conditions and the size of the turbine, with the aim of keeping them as stable as possible.

 

What’s Next?

Continuing to develop this technology could lead to major breakthroughs in Renewable Energy, enabling the world to phase out carbon-intensive fuels in favour of clean energy and meet global NetZero targets.

Despite the promise of floating wind, it still faces significant challenges before it can achieve the predicted growth. The high cost of foundations is one such obstacle, but factors such as competitive pricing are expected to dive down costs as demand rises. Policy makers are also key to creating the conditions for floating wind’s success, as standardisation may be required for the growth of the industry, and to make it economically viable, though it is believed that consolidation will occur as projects are scaled up globally.

As of right now, there is widespread optimism for the potential of floating wind, and global capacity expected to increase tenfold in a generation, with experts predicting that it will be 20% of all offshore wind resources by 2050. As technology is rapidly improving to transform energy from fossil fuels to green energy, floating wind power will be a driving force to change the paradigm of the renewables industry.

 

If you are seeking new hires in Offshore Wind, or a candidate looking for a role, please contact Kris Braakensiek at [email protected]

Who Are ersg?

Established in 2008, ersg is an award-winning international leader in recruitment and staffing services to global energy, renewables, engineering and power. We provide both white- and blue-collar workers to some of the most reputable global brands, with global offices in the UK, Europe, US & Asia.

 

What We Do

We provide innovative resourcing solutions to meet client’s needs, including Contract, Perm/Direct Hires and Workforce Solutions.

 

How Can We Help You?

Our consultants utilise their global network of candidates to deploy an in-depth knowledge of the Offshore Wind industry. We are highly specialised within candidate skill set verticals that are applicable across the full project life cycle. This has led to unparalleled relationships with our candidates, ensuring we are often the "go-to" agency for professionals looking for a job in Offshore Wind.