By the end of June 2021, more than 100 turbine and foundation installation and maintenance vessels will be needed for the offshore wind projects planned for this decade.
More than 100 turbine and foundation installation and maintenance vessels will be needed for the offshore wind projects planned during this decade.
Almost all of the current fleet of international wind turbine installation vessels will be technically redundant as installation vessels by 2025 due to the rapid growth in size of wind turbines, greater water depths and the increase in the size of foundations. The demand will be met by more than 60 newly built or modernized vessels – presenting a $ 14 billion opportunity for engineering companies, shipbuilders and conversion yards, equipment suppliers, service providers and those which finance marine assets.
Foundation installation requirements are also changing rapidly. Market demands are now shifting to specially designed wind turbine foundation installation vessels capable of handling the largest monopile foundations. More specialized vessels will be needed for this purpose.
In addition to the uncertainties posed by the rapidly changing technological terrain, installation vessel owners must also navigate their way through changing local content requirements in Taiwan, Japan, the United States and elsewhere.
China is a relatively closed and active offshore wind market with its own demand drivers. Chinese WTIVs are unlikely to operate outside of China. In fact, smaller installation vessels are more likely to be redeployed in the Chinese market, especially as they become technically less suited to international demand.
These are the conclusions of a new report “International market for wind turbines and foundation installation vessels” just completed by World Energy Reports.
The 70+ report provides a guide to understanding the drivers that will shape the requirements in this growing, globalized and technically evolving industry. The report examines the structure of the installation industry, profiles the underlying market drivers, forecasts the wind turbine installation activity through 2030, and identifies the technical requirements of installation vessels to meet future demand.
- Presentation of offshore wind turbine installation vessels and foundations
So far, installation requirements have been largely met by WTIVs and heavy lift vessels designed for the oil & gas and port / salvage market. Market demands are now shifting to larger capacity WTIVs and specially designed wind foundation installation vessels capable of handling larger monopile foundations.
A WTIV is a jack-up jack-up with a crane capacity of 600 tons or more for lifting a WTG in 5 to 6 lifts. WTIVs perform various functions within the offshore wind farm supply chain:
A new generation foundation installation vessel is a self-propelled DP2 / 3 vessel with a large deck space to transport the foundation from the manufacturer’s installation directly to the site and with a crane capacity of 3000 tonnes or more.
From the first eleven 450 kW 5 MW Vindeby Windfarm WIND TURBINES, commissioned in 1991 in Denmark, offshore wind has grown to reach more than 32 GW of cumulative installed capacity by the end of 2020 supplied by 18 countries. Almost all of the capacity is fixed to the bottom – with the exception of some networks of floating wind pilots.
Northwest Europe and China accounted for 99% of installed capacity at the end of 2020.
The UK was the largest market, accounting for 32% of global capacity at the end of 2020. Germany was the second largest market with 24% of capacity. This activity has supported the development of an important industrial base for the installation capacities of manufacturing components for wind farms. Europe and the UK have taken three decades to industrialize the offshore wind supply chain. The 1990s and early 2000s were characterized by relatively small demonstration projects to test offshore wind technology. Commercial-scale wind farms only began to appear at the beginning of the last decade. The development of wind farms in emerging non-European markets (Taiwan, Japan, United States) was supported by European manufacturing capacity and installation vessels.
China has seen an increase in offshore wind activity since 2015, connecting 22 GW of capacity to the grid by the end of 2020. The basis of the current offshore wind boom is grants available for projects approved before the end of 2018 and connected to the grid by the end of 2021. of China’s initial wind farm activity can be classified as intertidal, in very shallow water falling within 10 km of the coast. More recently, wind farms have moved out of the tidal zone into offshore waters. China is a relatively closed and active offshore wind market with its own demand drivers.
From a wind turbine and foundation installation perspective, we see three relatively distinct markets driving demand:
• International : This segment is considered to be widely open to all international assets. Over time, some markets like Taiwan, Japan, the United States and South Korea will see an increased supply of locally reported and owned assets, at which point these markets will become increasingly focused on local content. Solutions with a fixed bottom (up to 60-70 m) will stimulate growth. The floating wind segment will develop during this decade in most of these markets, both for deeper water (more than 60m deep) or in poor soils in shallow water – perhaps for countries Baltic and Taiwanese.
• China: A discrete install market, which may take assets from the international supply but is unlikely to contribute to the international supply for the foreseeable future. Initially an intertidal market, China is developing as a fixed-fund market.
• Vietnam: a largely intertidal market not requiring modern purpose built WTIV / WTVF.
In the medium and long term, we follow offshore wind projects in 38 countries. Our baseline scenario forecast identifies around 235 GW of installed capacity by 2030, of which around 96% will be fixed. This activity will result in the installation of more than 9,300 wind turbines and foundations on the international market until 2030 and more than 8,000 in China.
The international and Chinese market will install various turbines and foundations. The international market will be mainly supplied by three leading equipment manufacturers: Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, GE and Vestas. The largest wind turbine installed today is the 8 to 10 MW one. Turbines of 12 to 14 MW will dominate the activity in the middle of the decade and turbines of 15 MW + will be deployed on a large scale from 2027. The Chinese market will grow from turbines of 4 to 6.5 MW to 10 MW and more by the middle of the decade.
- Underlying technical drivers
The rate of change in wind turbine production has been rapid – larger wind turbines offer higher yields and higher capacity factors, leading to reductions in project costs.
The graph below shows the evolution of international wind turbine sizes from 2010. The size of the wind turbines at their end is represented at the scale of the Eiffel Tower and a new generation WTIV, similar to the new building Voltaire by Jan de Nul. The peak heights of 12 to 14 MW wind turbines deployed from 2022 will reach 250 to 260 meters. The next generation of wind turbines is expected to have a capacity of 20 MW. Peak heights of over 280 meters are expected.
Greater production of wind turbines results in heavier and larger components (nacelle and hub, blades and towers). Heavier components result in heavier foundations to support the increased loads of wind turbines. The longer cardon fiber blades found in all larger rotor diameter wind turbines result in higher lift heights.
The foundations will generally be installed within one year of the installation of the turbine. The steel monopile has been the predominant fixed foundation solution in the international market to date. It is expected that the monopile will continue to be deployed in a large number of international projects in the future. We predict that monopiles and liners will account for over 95% of lower fixed foundations by 2030. Larger wind turbines and deeper water result in very large monopiles, most of which cannot be installed by the WTIV d fleet. ‘today.
- Fleet of construction and maintenance vessels for wind farms
We anticipate a global fleet of around 105 wind farm construction and maintenance vessels by 2025. Nearly 60 WTIV and foundation installation vessels will form the backbone of the wind turbine and foundation installation capabilities of the wind farm by the middle of the decade. Although adept at performing wind farm maintenance tasks, our forecasts indicate that the majority will focus primarily on construction work.
An additional vessel over 45 years old, bundled as sub-optimal for installation activities, will support some construction work, especially in China, and meet significant O&M demand.
The figures exclude some 125 oil and gas and port / rescue heavy-lift vessels, some of which have been used to support offshore wind projects in the past and will occasionally provide solutions to specific project challenges in the future.
- A $ 14 billion CAPEX opportunity
WER forecast identifies demand for more than 35 optimal WTIVs and foundation vessels are needed to meet international demand for installing turbines and foundations through 2030, amounting to more than $ 10 billion of CAPEX. Chinese market demand will be met with around 25 WTIVs and additional foundation vessels for nearly $ 4 billion in CAPEX. Details of the forecasts are provided in our report.
- For more information on the forecast of the international wind turbines and foundation installation vessels market, please visit www.worldenergyreports.com