Offshore, onshore, what’s the difference?
Grzegorz Gorsky: The energy production logic is the same offshore and onshore, via wind turbines. Offshore wind farms are located offshore, either fixed to the bottom of the seabed or floating with anchors. It’s just a different location, depending on the space and concessions available.
What are the advantages of offshore production?
GG: At sea, the winds blow hard and continuously. Locating offshore wind farms further from the coast and away from any form of interference with the wind is greater generation capacity. It also has less impact on the landscape as wind farms are located further and further away from the horizon line.
Offshore wind solutions therefore embody the ability to meet high electricity demands and will also be crucial in generating the clean energy needed to produce green hydrogen. Offshore wind power enters the energy mix to achieve decarbonization objectives, without loss of capacity. This is why offshore wind farms are considered the key to the energy transition, towards a carbon neutral economy.
We are currently talking a lot about offshore wind power. Why such an interest ?
GG: In the current international context, countries seek to secure their energy capacity and limit their dependence on the outside. Offshore wind energy (thanks to its great potential in terms of capacity and decreasing cost technology) is attracting international attention. For instance, The European Union is committed to reaching a capacity of 60 GW of offshore wind power by 2030. For these reasons, it is an increasingly visible subject today.
What are the expected impacts of an offshore wind farm?
GG: Apart from the supply of clean energy, its main impact lies in the creation of new supply chain opportunities for industrial companies while supporting them in their transition to clean energy and, by extension, creating jobs.
Developing offshore wind projects, we work to identify the main socio-economic and environmental impacts, aware that our projects must coexist with the surrounding environment and economy. As Ocean Winds, with three projects in operation (Moray East, UK, fixed bottom, 950 MW; Seamade, Belgium, fixed bottom, 487 MW; and WindFloat Atlantic, Portugal, floating, 25 MW), we are now able to collect concrete data on biodiversity or environmental impacts at sea, in order to minimize them.
Monitoring the environment around our projects over the long term is essential, especially with new technology like floating, where the baseline for impact assessment still lacks scientifically proven references. This monitoring does not focus only on biodiversity, but also on man and his socio-economic activities such as fishing or tourism for example. Taking the French floating project EFGL for example, it will be the first floating wind farm installed in a Marine Protected Area.
See the video on the EFGL project and biodiversity: