Thursday, March 18, 2010

Allies in weathering the bad times

As the world evolves towards a green economy, new economic opportunities will emerge. Entrepreneurs will create new companies to take advantage of them. Some existing businesses - those willing to adapt - will prosper in the new economic climate as well.

The development of offshore wind farms is our best near-term renewable energy option for avoiding a worst-case climate scenario. The emergence of a vibrant offshore wind energy industry would also be both catalyst and backbone of a global clean energy economy. (GW)

Offshore Wind a Boon to the Shipping Industry

By Lars Kroldrup
New York Times
March 17, 2010

With ocean-going trade slackening amid the global recession, shipping companies and shipyard operators in Europe are finding the offshore wind industry to be a welcome ally in weathering the bad times.

In a deal struck earlier this month, for example, the shipping giant Maersk has agreed to lease about 100,000 square meters of its Lindo shipping facility on the Danish island of Funen — about 10 percent of the total area of the shipyard — to Skykon Offshore, a maker of wind turbine foundations.

“We have for a long time had our eyes on Lindo for production facilities for offshore wind turbines,” said Jesper Ohlenschlaeger, the chief executive of Skykon, in a prepared statement. “Lindo can offer extremely attractive production and skilled staff, and we are planning a start-up with more than 200 new jobs. With the conclusion of this agreement, we expand our production significantly and thereby firmly establish ourselves in the market as a producer of foundations for offshore wind turbines.”

A group of major wind power players — including Vestas and Siemens Wind Power — have also established the Lindo Offshore Renewables Center at the same site. The facility will serve a research and center for both wind power and ocean wave power development.

Meanwhile, the Community of European Shipyards’ Association — with the express backing of the European Wind Energy Association — has called on the European Commission and the European Investment Bank to support the building of new ships designed specifically to serve the offshore wind energy market in coming years.

The trade groups say more than $3 billion in investment will be needed over the long term, if the offshore wind industry continues to grow as predicted.

“From 2020 we will see 40,000 megawatts per year built offshore,” said Eddie O’Connor, the founder and chief executive of Mainstream Renewables and the executive secretary of the European Wind Energy Association, in a press release. “This will require 10 to 12 new heavy lift vessels, other vessels for transporting foundations, towers, nacelles and blading systems. New ports will have to be built across Europe.”

Construction on several large offshore wind farms are underway in both the North and the Baltic Seas.


Post a Comment

<< Home