Youwind Renewables warns developers will be expected to deliver projects in shorter timeline

Provider of web-based solutions for optimising early-stage offshore wind development, Youwind Renewables, has warned that only the best developers will be rewarded amid European offshore wind auction delays.
Youwind Renewables warns developers will be expected to deliver projects in shorter timeline
Courtesy of NREL.

Widespread delays to scheduled auction schemes across key European offshore wind markets are increasing competition among developers, meaning that authorities are expected to reward development teams who have proactively addressed key bottlenecks in the early phases.

There is a pressing need for developers to closely manage the essential early stages of development to ensure the success of the next generation of projects and meet the goals of the EU 2030 Agenda.

Countries such as Spain, Portugal, and the Netherlands have already faced delays in their planned offshore wind auctions for this year, with few European auctions planned for H1 2024 proceeding on schedule.

In response to these delays, authorities are expected to push for shorter timelines, as it is suspected that the best-prepared development teams will be rewarded while and ensuring the goals of the EU 2030 Agenda are not at risk.

With the average time to prepare and submit a bid standing at approximately two to three years, the business has emphasised the importance of addressing key risks and potential bottlenecks quickly and early – identifying five key priorities for developers preparing to participate in upcoming auctions.

Stakeholder Engagement

Before delving into detailed park layout optimisation, it is imperative for developers to engage with all stakeholders, including health and safety authorities, local communities, and environmental groups - as well as accounting for vessel density by ensuring oversight over fishing activities in the area. By considering stakeholder input from the outset, developers can navigate potential challenges more effectively and build stronger partnerships to support project development.

Logistics Planning

With vessel availability posing a significant challenge in the offshore wind sector, meticulous logistics planning is essential. According to maritime market intelligence firm Spinergie, the current shortage of heavy installation vessels may result in a global pipeline of fixed-bottom offshore wind projects, capable of quintupling operating capacity by 2030, achieving less than 60 percent of this potential. Developers must assess various options and anticipate the need to schedule construction activities outside of optimal weather windows to minimise delays and optimise project timelines.

Understanding Wake Effects

Factoring in wake effects is crucial, particularly in congested wind farm areas like those in the Netherlands, Germany, and Belgium. Developers must account not only for existing wind farms but also for future projects that could impact their operations throughout their operational lifespan. Countries like France, Spain and Portugal especially must take wake effects into account, with collaboration on future wind farm plans near West Galicia and the Porto area already underway.

Mitigating Cable Losses & Failures

Understanding the impact of electrical failures on future revenue is paramount. Cable failures affecting even a few turbines can result in substantial revenue losses. Developers must incorporate contingency plans to mitigate the financial implications of such failures and ensure project profitability.

Investment in Advanced Modelling

In the race to meet bid deadlines, success in securing projects increasingly hinges on Investing in advanced modelling capabilities. Increased multisource data processing power has become essential to effectively navigate evolving market conditions. Youwind's robust features have supported five auction-winning projects in Europe and APAC over the last three years, demonstrating its effectiveness in accelerating project development and enhancing competitiveness in the industry.

“As the offshore wind sector navigates a complex environment, and pressure increases on bid timelines, it is imperative for developers to proactively tackle known risks and bottlenecks from the early stages onwards – and to invest in the modelling capabilities that will enable them to do so” said Anna Rivera, Co-Founder & CEO of Youwind. “Managing some of these critical risks, such as vessel availability, will ultimately make the difference between a project that is successful and one that fails to live up to its potential.”

Youwind Renewables helps to identify priority areas of focus for developers preparing bids: stakeholder engagement, comparison of bidding schemes, wake effect optimisation and neighbours effect, cable failures, and advanced modelling.

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Youwind Renewables

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