The 20th edition of the EERA DeepWind offshore wind R&I conference was a resounding success. You can read about the first day of the conference below, or skip directly to Day two or Day three.
Day one started with a series of keynote addresses by several research, industry and policy experts.
The conference was officially opened by State Secretary Elisabeth Sæther, of the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy. She outlined the government’s plans for offshore wind in the coming years. Then, SINTEF CEO Alexandra Bech Gjørv gave an overview of her research institute’s work with offshore wind research. She called for the establishment of a European Centre of Excellence on offshore wind energy to solve research challenges and help making offshore wind a pillar of the European energy system.
NorthWind centre director and EERA DeepWind conference chair John Olav Tande then outlined the progress that’s been achieved in the last 20 years, and what this experience can tell us about what we can expect in the next two decades. He was followed by Jon Dugstad, director at Norwegian Energy Partners, who presented a Global offshore wind market status and outlook.
Then, University of Bergen (UiB) professor Finn Gunnar Nielsen, presented a deeper look into floating offshore wind technology. He reminded the audience that the cost reductions that were experienced with land-based wind, and are expected to happen also for offshore wind, depend on volume and not time. “You need to think in terms of gigawatts of capacity installed, not years passing, when considering what actually makes cost reductions happen,” he said.
Next, Hannele Holttinen, Operating Agent, Grid Integration Task 25 of IEA Wind, and partner at Recognis Oy, explained the challenges related to balancing large amounts of variable wind power. Kristian Holm, Technology Director at Equinor, talked about industrialising offshore wind. He went over the history of floating wind, starting with the Hywind demo, and then going on with Hywind Scotland and the recently started Hywind Tampen – all of which Equinor is deeply involved in.
Building offshore wind on a massive scale at the European level will require lots of experts and engineers in the field. The challenge of educating the experts the industry needs was described by Charlotte Bay Hasager, professor at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU).
NINA researcher and NorthWind WP5 co-lead Roel May then held a presentation about environmental design. He talked about the importance of minimising the negative environmental impacts of wind farms per KWh of electricity produced.
Next, Ignacio Martí, director of EERA JP wind, described the current international collaboration taking place currently in Europe within the field of offshore wind research. Like Alexandra Bech Gjørv, he called for the creation of a European Centre of Excellency on offshore wind energy. The objective would be to solve the research challenges related both to scaling up offshore wind, and to integrating large amounts of power it will produce when built on a massive scale.
After the opening session, the conference continued with scientific presentations in three simultaneous sessions divided by topic: New turbine and generator technology, Met-ocean conditions and Experimental testing and validation.
The day ended with a musical performance by NTNU PhD student Olaolu Lawal, who started his set of African music by asking aloud if engineers were capable of dancing. Maybe the crowd took this as a challenge or maybe engineers really have an innate sense of rhythm; either way, it did not take very long before the crowd was showing its moves. A fun way to end a very busy day!
Day two was when the bulk of the scientific presentations were taking place. Grid connection and power system integration is an important topic that is discussed at the conference. As part of a session dedicated to this topic, Harald Svendsen, from SINTEF Energy Research, presented his analysis of wind conditions along the coastline of Norway and in the southern part of the North Sea. His presentation titled “30 GW Offshore wind in Norway – wind power correlations” shows that there is little to no correlation between wind conditions in the southern part of the North Sea and areas located further North (off the coast of Trondheim and northwards). The analysis looked at 29 years of historical weather data. The research was a collaboration between the Green Platform Ocean Grid project and FME NorthWind.
Another session focused on Substructures and mooring. Thomas Sauder, from SINTEF Ocean, presented his work titled “Second order wave-induced modal loads and responses on floating wind parks with shared mooring”.
A side event hosted by the Marie Curie PhD network gathered PhD candidates working on lidar and its potential use in offshore wind. Lidar is a detection system which works on the principle of radar, but uses light from a laser instead of radio waves. Haichen Zuo was among the PhD students holding presentations, and presented her work titled “The contribution of Aeolus data to surface wind forecast with ECMWF model”.
The regulatory framework surrounding offshore wind, and the environmental impact of wind farms, were the subject of a series of presentations. Anne Reumer, from DNV, presented an overview of current offshore wind regulations. Paula Bastos Garcia Rosa, from SINTEF Energy Research, outlined a series of mitigation measures for preventing collision of birds with wind turbines.
Finn Gunnar Nielsen awarded the first EERA DeepWind Science and Innovation Award
Finn Gunnar Nielsen, professor at UiB and Head of Bergen Offshore Wind Centre (BOW), was awarded the very first EERA DeepWind Science and Innovation Award on Thursday night, the second day of the conference. The newly created award will be given to researchers who have made an outstanding contribution to offshore floating wind technology. Finn Gunnar Nielsen participated in the very first DeepWind conference, in 2004, and was central to the success of the research and development leading to the very first full-scale floating wind turbine, Hywind Demo.
Today, the programme calls for a session of scientific presentations about Societal impact and controversies; Operation and maintenance; as well as a side event hosted by the XROTOR consortium. Depicted below are Tomas Moe Skjølsvold, from NTNU, who gave a talk about Identifying and addressing societal aspects of offshore wind power in the North Sea (as part of the Societal impact and controversies session). Jade McMorland presented an exploration of failure rates and failure classification for multirotor wind turbine systems (as part of the Operation and maintenance session). At the XROTOR side event, Beatriz Mendez Lopez, from CENER, presented a Computational fluid dynamics analysis and aerodynamic models for X-shaped turbines.
Closing session: Strategic outlook
The conference concludes with the closing session, featuring a series of keynote speeches giving a strategic outlook for the upcoming years. First up was Jacob Edmonds, VC at ETIP Wind and Head of Innovation & Digital at Ørsted. He presented an overview of ETIP Wind’s work and goals. ETIP Wind was established to provide wind community representation, communication, coordination and collaboration to national and European policy makers on research and innovation in wind energy.
Next, Joanna Ines Martin, from Ørsted Services AS, presented a ScotWind portfolio study of techno-economical optimisation for floating offshore wind farms. Among other things, the study looked at turbine size and farm layout.
Catherine Banet, professor at the University of Oslo, Scandinavian Institute of Maritime Law, outlined the legal and regulatory aspects of offshore wind. She underlined the importance of including offshore wind in the upcoming redesign of the European electricity market, to ensure market rules both allow for the integration of a large share of renewables, and continue functioning after that integration has taken place.
Jose Luis Domínguez García, Head of Power Systems Group, IREC, presented key innovations for reducing the cost of floating wind, worked on as part of Horizon 2020 project Corewind.
Knut Vassbotn, CEO of Deep Wind Offshore, presented a comparative study of different configuration alternatives for the connection of future wind farms at Utsira Nord, off the coast of Haugesund, in Norway. The analysis compared using 66 kV and 132 kV connection cables, as well as whether to include floating substations.
Geir Olav Berg, Chief technical officer and Senior Vice President engineering at Aker Offshore Wind, presented the advancements his organisation is working on to reduce the Levelized cost of electricity for offshore wind. He also gave an overview of offshore wind projects that are being planned around the world.
The poster award for Best Content was given to Jannis Wacker, from DTU, for his poster titled “New model for structural optimisation of airborne wind energy systems with rotary transmission”.
Two Poster awards were given for Best Communication. One to Thomas Messmer, of the University of Oldenburg, for his poster titled “Overview of the potential of floating wind in Europe based on metocean-data derived from ERA5-dataset”; the other to Sithik Aliyar, of DTU, for his poster titled “Upending of Spar type FOWT in waves: A numerical comparison with time-domain and frequency-domain solvers”.
Sithik Aliyar, DTU, also award winner for Best Communication, was not present to receive his prize.
The conference featured a total of over 80 presentations and 125 scientific posters and gathered a record number of participants.