European Offshore Wind Test Centres Unite to Tackle Common Challenges and Accelerate Innovation

Representatives from European test sites gathered in Brussels this week.
by Martine Farstad
EU Adviser

Marin Energy Test Centre (METCentre) has taken the initiative to gather representatives from European test centres for offshore wind in Brussels. The aim is to establish a collaborative network addressing shared challenges and advancing the development of offshore wind deployment.

The main test centres for floating offshore wind, METCentre, PLOCAN, BIMEP, OPEN-C, and WAVEC, are now joining forces to overcome common challenges. The consensus is that a united effort is crucial for ensuring Europe's competitiveness in the floater market. The test centres have identified three main challenges to start out with. 

-It was a great experience, and we had good discussions and exchanged ideas that I hope will enable stronger partnerships between the test centres in Europe. We are very happy to have started this cooperation to accelerate innovation in order to reduce costs in offshore wind, says Arvid Nesse CEO of METCentre and Norwegian Offshore Wind. 

Slow Permit Processes

The offshore wind industry faces challenges with slow permitting procedures, leading to delays in project development and introducing financial uncertainties. The joint initiative aims to streamline licensing processes for test sites, ensuring a more efficient pathway for offshore wind projects. 

Cecilia Girad-Vika from METCentre.

Lack of Funding for Test Infrastructure

Establishing essential test infrastructure incurs significant costs. The group advocates for financial incentives, grants, or subsidies from the EU (European Union) and national governments to encourage private investment in test infrastructure. Participants emphasise the need for government support to facilitate private investment in infrastructure development.


Lack of Funding for Demonstration of New Floating Solutions

The development and demonstration of new floating solutions require substantial financial support. The initiative seeks to address the funding gap by advocating for increased financial backing for companies and projects focused on advancing and proving the viability of innovative floating technologies. The testing of floaters involves assessing performance, stability, and durability, posing a technological challenge.

By focusing on streamlining regulatory processes, and securing funding for infrastructure and demonstrations, the initiative aims to create a more favourable environment for the development and commercialisation of offshore wind technologies. 

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