Survey Reveals Key Challenges Facing Floating Offshore Wind Industry

A recent survey conducted by market firm Westwood highlights the primary hurdles and risks hindering the progress of the floating wind sector. According to the survey, a lack of standardization of floating technology (55%), manufacturing capability and capacity (51%), and port (50%) are among the major obstacles cited by stakeholders.

The findings underscore the need for accelerated investment, regulation, and supply chain coordination on a global scale to enable the sector to realize its ambitions. The survey, developed in collaboration with Norwegian Offshore Wind and World Forum Offshore Wind (WFO), polled 184 stakeholders across the floating offshore wind value chain to gauge industry sentiment and attitudes.

In response to the identified challenges, respondents called for more specific policy and regulatory support from governments to facilitate technology development and cost reduction. Additionally, investment in port infrastructure was highlighted as crucial for accelerating adoption.

Despite these hurdles, the survey indicates varying levels of optimism within the industry. While 42% of European respondents expressed less optimism about the floating offshore wind sector compared to two years ago, 44% of developers globally are more optimistic about the sector's prospects.

However, the majority of respondents anticipate that global floating offshore wind capacity will fall short of targets, with less than 3GW of capacity expected to be operational by 2030. In , respondents forecast a range of 0.5 – 2GW of operational capacity by the same timeframe.

David Linden, head of energy transition at Westwood, emphasized the challenges facing an industry in its infancy but noted that optimism remains despite a more realistic outlook for near-term growth. Linden emphasized the importance of pacing in achieving industry goals, highlighting the need for direct investment in infrastructure, technology, and focused policy.

Arvid Nesse, CEO of Norwegian Offshore Wind, echoed the sentiments, stressing the importance of building manufacturing capability, capacity, and investing in infrastructure and port capacities. Nesse emphasized the need for governments to provide clear plans indicating volumes and timelines to accelerate investments and de-risk projects in the floating wind sector.

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