Norwegian oil giant Statoil has taken on a strategic partner as it prepares to build the world’s first floating wind farm off the east coast of Scotland. It has agreed to sell 25% of its assets in Hywind Scotland Pilot Park to Abu Dhabi renewable energy group Masdar. Statoil said the 30MW wind farm, which will lie about 15 miles from Peterhead, could power 20,000 households.
Under the transaction, Statoil and Masdar have agreed to share the development risk, with Masdar covering 25% of previous and future costs. Statoil will continue to hold a 75% share in Hywind Scotland.
It said substructures for the project had already been constructed in Spain. They are due to arrive in Norway in the spring for assembly before being moved to Peterhead.
UK offshore wind has hit its cost reduction target four years ahead of schedule. The cost of energy from offshore wind has fallen by 32% since 2012 and is below the joint UK government and industry target of £100 per megawatt hour (MWh) four years ahead of schedule, according to a new report from the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult.
The target, set in 2012, was expected to be met by 2020, but wind farms given final investment decisions in 2015/16 are already achieving prices lower than this target. Offshore wind costs have fallen sharply through the adoption of larger turbines, increased competition and lower cost of capital.
Projects are reaching a final investment decision in 2015/16 with an average levelised cost of energy of £97/MWh, compared to £142/MWh in 2010/11.
The report also reveals that UK content and jobs are a significant focus for the UK’s offshore wind sector, with the industry working hard to maximise its UK economic benefit. Supply chain plans required under the Contracts for Difference process are delivering significant growth for UK manufacturing, and the report identifies further potential to increase both UK content and jobs through a more coordinated approach to industrial strategy.
Leading energy, transport and industry companies have launched a global initiative to voice a united vision and long-term ambition for hydrogen to foster the energy transition.
The Hydrogen Council aims to position hydrogen among the key energy solutions. The council will work with, and provide recommendations to policy makers, businesses, international agencies and civil society to achieve this goal.
The council is currently made up of 13 chief executives and chairpersons from various industries and energy companies committed to help achieve the ambitious goal of reaching the 2 degrees Celsius target as agreed in the 2015 Paris Agreement.
The international companies involved are: Air Liquide, Alstom, Anglo American, BMW Group, Daimler, ENGIE, Honda, Hyundai, Kawasaki, Royal Dutch Shell, The Linde Group, Total and Toyota. The Council is led by two Co-Chairs from different geographies and sectors, currently represented by Air Liquide and Toyota.
Benoit Potier, chief executive of Air Liquide, said: “The Hydrogen Council brings together some of the world’s leading industrial, automotive and energy companies with a clear ambition to explain why hydrogen emerges among the key solutions for the energy transition, in the mobility as well as in the power, industrial and residential sectors, and therefore requires the development of new strategies at a scale to support this.
During the launch, members of the ‘Hydrogen Council’ confirmed their ambition to accelerate their significant investment in the development and commercialisation of the hydrogen and fuel cell sectors. These investments currently amount to an estimated total value of €1.4 billion per year. This acceleration will be possible if the key stakeholders increase their backing of hydrogen as part of the future energy mix with appropriate policies and supporting schemes.