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Hamburg conducts study on offshore wind energy, decommissioning

THE Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI) has drafted a new market analysis on offshore wind energy and decommissioning as part of the INTERREG-North Sea project 'DECOM Tools

Hamburg conducts study on offshore wind energy, decommissioning

THE Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI) has drafted a new market analysis on offshore wind energy and decommissioning as part of the INTERREG-North Sea project 'DECOM Tools

22 January 2020 - 19:00

THE Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI) has drafted a new market analysis on offshore wind energy and decommissioning as part of the INTERREG-North Sea project 'DECOM Tools.'

Against the backdrop that offshore wind energy offers a high growth potential, Europe has the chance to set the global standard when it comes to decommissioning of facilities at the end of their lifespan. Northern Germany in particular can 'benefit from great opportunities - as long as the according challenges are solved soon,' a press release issued by the Port of Hamburg said.



Most of the offshore wind energy facilities are designed for an effective lifetime of 25 years. After that, each park is either replaced by modern components or decommissioned with a sensible dispose of the individual components, it said.



The 'Decom Tools' project aims to develop 'eco-innovative concepts for decommissioning. As part of the project, HWWI has drafted a new market analysis of offshore wind and decommissioning in the North Sea Region.'



According to the market analysis, the number of turbines coming into question for decommissioning will steadily rise from 2020 onwards. 'Despite offshore wind energy being a young industry the number of affected turbines was larger than expected,' said HWWI economist Mirko Kruse.



The market analysis shows that 22 offshore wind energy turbines in 2020, 80 turbines in 2022 and 123 turbines in 2023 will be considered for decommissioning or refurbishment.



Europe as the pioneer in offshore wind energy possesses the oldest offshore facilities. This gives rise to the opportunity to set the global standard for decommissioning in the sector of offshore wind.



A requirement for a successful decommissioning is, apart from aligned logistic processes and new recycling procedures for composite materials in the wings, an appropriate infrastructure.



'Particularly, northern Germany with its ports can establish important locations for future activities and attract a significant part of the value chain with the related downstream processing activities,' said HWWI's head of international cooperation Isabel Sunner.



'Apart from infrastructural bottlenecks there is a foreseeable lack of qualified employees to organise the decommissioning process. But if the ports and related industries now adapt to the upcoming challenges, there emerges a new field of activity for the northern German locations,' said Mr Sunner.



The project 'DECOM Tools' gathers partners from Germany, Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands, the UK and Norway in a four-year project. The project is funded by the INTERREG-North Sea programme of the European Union.


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