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⚡ "Renewable Energy & Offshore Wind"

Cutting Carbon

Photo by Mike Erskine / Unsplash

Table of Contents

Hosts: Jeff Goldmeer & Brian Gutknect
Guest: John Lavelle | CEO | GE Offshore Wind
Category: ⚡ Renewable Energy

Podcast’s Essential Bites:

[2:38] “In the offshore wind turbine design, we leverage a lot of the same design principles as the onshore wind turbine. […] [However], they're massively large, mainly because we're not limited by roads and bridges. […] They go right from the factory to ships to the wind farms. […] The wind speeds are much stronger, and steadier out in the ocean, which is an advantage for offshore wind. And the logistics in the project management are a bit more challenging, when you're dealing with the size, the scale and the complexity of shipping these things from factories to marshalling harbors and then out on installation vessels to be installed out in the ocean.”

[6:03] “[Europe] was ahead led by Denmark years ago with the oil spike years ago, they wanted to diversify from their oil base, and they got a jumpstart on renewables. The rest of Northern Europe has great wind speed, and not always great onshore wind speed, but really good offshore wind speed. […] A lot of Europe depends on gas from outside of Europe and they're looking for ways to get away from coal and nuclear. […] So offshore wind in Northern Europe has gotten a lot of political push for well over a decade, probably 15 years. So Europe's ahead. They're pushing forward.”

[7:07] “What you see in the northeast United States, and other key markets that are growing, such as southern China, Japan, Taiwan, and Korea, are the common issues of a very large installed base of nuclear and coal. All those geographies import natural gas from somewhere else. So the Northeast United States, it's either coming from Western Canada or Tennessee, you're getting it in Korea, Japan, and Taiwan from Indonesia and Qatar. […] So it's really high cost of energy. […] So they all need something to displace in large scale, coastal, nuclear, and coal. And they all have good wind speed regimes.”

[8:40] “What's really the driving force for offshore wind, [is that] it's green, it can be deployed [on a] larger scale. And with scale, as a potential driver, you can get down the cost curve and compete, even to the point some countries have zero subsidy fuel costs.”

[14:39] “Where the markets are developing today, […] for example, UK, Germany, the coastal places in France, like Normandy, […] the first wave of China, first wave of Japan, Korea, Taiwan are in coastal waters. [So] you can still get fixed foundations. [...] But there are also geographies where the coastline falls off very quickly, for example the West Coast of the United States. […] That coast [has] limited fix and will be a floating market when it develops there. […] There's a lot of challenges with floating today that will be overcome with technology and experience. But it will also be more practical after a lot of the costs have been grinded out in a fixed foundation world where volume has peaked out with fixed and then you're able to leverage those cost positions, the industry supply chain that's globally to now move into those particular aspects of floating challenges.”

[19:06] “In the US […]  you had the production tax credit. It seems that spurred not just requirements, but then incentives that fueled that in the US and everywhere around the world had their own version of those things. What you see in offshore is similar from an incentive point of view, different flavors by country, but there are subsidies and incentives to do it. Probably just as important in offshore [is that] these are federal waters and so there needs to be federal government auctions of the lands and permits to develop offshore wind on these offshore wind allocations, regardless of the country. So each country has to come up with a process to allot those lands for offshore wind use. That can be very time consuming, and it can be uncertain on the timing.”

[28:33] “It's a global game, almost every country's going to get into this game. And so we're just at the start with where the geology and the wind speeds are optimum. But then when we've maxed out that, then they'll go to floating, and then there'll be low wind speeds, but by that time frame, we'll have really great technology, and we'll be able to slap bigger blades on smaller generators and get the capacity factors right for low wind speed applications around the world.”

Rating: ⚡⚡

🎙️ Full Episode: Apple | Spotify
🕰️ 34 min | 🗓️ 07/22/2021
✅ Time saved: 32 min