Across Europe, companies are trying to reduce energy costs and their carbon footprint. And it’s more than just talk – the weekend saw the world’s largest floating (offshore) wind farm, Hywind Tampen, start energy production.
The floating wind farm was developed by Equinor and is located approximately 140 kilometers off the coast of Norway. It is the first in the world to power offshore oil and gas platforms.
The wind farm is estimated to provide about 35% of the annual electricity demand of five of the installations of Gullfaks and Snorre’s partners. Naturally, this percentage increases when the wind speed is higher. It will also reduce CO2 emissions from the fields by about 200,000 tons per year.
Join TNW in Valencia!
The heart of technology comes to the heart of the Mediterranean
In addition, the site acts as a testing ground for further floating wind development, exploring new and larger turbines, installation methods, simplified berths, concrete substructures and integration between gas and wind power generation systems.
Seven of the wind farm’s 11 turbines will come online in 2022, with four more installed in 2023. This all seems like a good thing, but…
…Norway will not give up that sweet gas money
Norway is Western Europe’s largest oil and gas producer and has no plans to dismantle its oil industry. So this is not a game-changer for national renewables.
The country, however shared at last week’s COP27 environment summit in Egypt that it raised its target of reducing climate-related emissions by at least 55% by 2030.
Despite this, there is a terrible irony in the fact that Norway has spent hundreds of millions of euros on a green energy source to make it cheaper to harvest the gas and oil that are killing the planet. In fact, it wants to use its floating wind farm to continue extracting fossil fuels for as long as possible.
On the one hand, the Norwegian project represents a commitment to sustainability by developing a new industrial use case for offshore wind that other traditional industries can embrace. You could also argue that the funding and lessons learned in this process could benefit these types of stations in the future.
But on the other hand, this is a backward way of sucking every last dollar out of the planet with little regard for the health of the world and future generations.
Obviously now that we have the technology to move to more sustainable energy, the problem is that those in power don’t want it to happen.