- ISBN: 978-92-9460-158-2, doi:10.2826/017304, EA-03-20-493-EN-N
- Publication date
- 15 January 2020
- Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises
Offshore wind energy production, both fixed and floating, is considered to have great potential to decarbonize our energy mix. Europe is global leader in offshore wind and its production is projected to rise from the current 22GW to 270 GW by 2040, and eventually up to 450GW if the vision of a carbon neutral Europe is to be achieved. This means a twenty-two-fold increase from current production, with numerous new OWF and increasing turbine capacities.
Whereas most “historic” activities (maritime transport, fishing, dredging and aggregate mining, leisure activities) evolve at the sea-surface and are dynamic (in space, time and depth) and with a low permanent footprint, windfarms are a significant game changer. Their installations (masts, turbines, cables, substation, land connection, etc.) can bring permanent constraints for other maritime activities, from simple technical inconvenience to complete incompatibility. Until now, only oil rigs - and to a lesser extent pipelines and cables (energy or data) - had been included in this category of activities, with far less structures and over much smaller areas. Therefore, the offshore wind energy sector will increasingly experience and exert more competition for space in a context where maritime space is often extremely coveted.