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Mohit Kaul's picture
Founder Enerdatics

Building Enerdatics. Leadership experience in a high growth SaaS company and secured a successful exit. A natural leader who cares about creating value for all stakeholders. Extensive experience...

  • Member since 2022
  • 79 items added with 15,929 views
  • Jun 27, 2022

Historically, developed nations in Europe have dominated the activity in the offshore wind sector. However, as the technology matured and costs fell, emerging economies in Europe, Asia, the US, and even Australia saw an increase in strategic JVs and project partnerships. Brazil is the only Latin American country with an offshore wind investment interest. According to EPE, with 7,367 kilometres of shoreline and 3.5 million sq km of maritime space, the country could host 700 GW of offshore wind projects in shallow water. Recent regulatory reforms by the country's government to encourage offshore wind construction have attracted oil majors Equinor and Shell, European utilities EDP Renewables (EDPR) and ENGIE, and private equity firms Green Investment Group (GIG) and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP). Equinor and Petrobras are investigating a 4 GW project in the Campos basin, a major oil and gas province. Equinor has also requested environmental reviews for six projects in four Brazilian states, totaling 14.37 GW. Meanwhile, Shell has applied for licences to build six projects with a total capacity of 17 GW. Further, in June '22, GIG portfolio company Corio Generation teamed up with Servtec to build 5 GW of projects off Brazil's coast, while EDPR-ENGIE JV Ocean Winds created its OW Brasil unit to target projects in 4 states on the country's northeastern and eastern shores.

Recent growth in Brazil's offshore wind sector is due to a Jan '22 regulation that provides investors with clarity on the assignment of physical locations for offshore wind power. The Decree stipulates that Brazil's Ministry of Mines and Energy select offshore wind zones and organise auctions. A drought in 2021 affected Brazil's hydropower-based energy mix, prompting these latest developments. In 2020, hydropower accounted for 66% of the domestic energy matrix. Going forward, Enerdatics expects Brazil’s offshore wind sector to be dominated by companies that will build on their legacy energy operations in the country. O&G majors, in particular, would be able to leverage their experience operating oil and gas installations offshore Brazil, and will seek to partner with local developers and technology services providers to buildout their portfolio. Meanwhile, private equity firms that seek to acquire direct stakes in assets, such as GIG and CIP, will lead the pack of institutional investors establishing a footprint in Brazil’s offshore wind space, with other firms following suit as the market matures.


Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Jun 27, 2022

Do you think long-term it will be the oil & gas majors with that offshore experience that end up dominating the offshore wind market, or will it instead be the companies that specialize in wind energy as their top priority? 

Mohit Kaul's picture
Mohit Kaul on Jun 28, 2022

I do. I think O&G companies have extensive experience of operating the in harsh offshore environment. They are the right folks to execute such projects.

Mark Silverstone's picture
Mark Silverstone on Jun 30, 2022

I agree that the major O&G companies are best positioned to execute these projects.  They will also spur hydrogen generation with the sporadic excess power that may be generated, something of a "battery" to store energy that is not in immediate demand. My only concern is that they will leverage that expertise and investment to "greenwash" continued fossil fuel development and production to prolong its use longer than necessary. 

Therefore, it is to be hoped that countries and companies that buy licenses to develop offshore wind commit to a realistic "sunset" on fossil fuel exploration and production.  That is a current debate going on in Norway.  So far, the only government that has set a firm date to stop issuing exploration licenses and end oil and gas production is Denmark

"...the Danish government voted in favour of the plans to cancel the country’s next North Sea oil and gas licensing round, 80 years after it first began exploring its hydrocarbon reserves."

"Denmark’s 55 existing oil and gas platforms, scattered across 20 oil and gas fields, will be allowed to continue extracting fossil fuels but the milestone decision to end the hunt for new reserves in the ageing basin will guarantee an end to Denmark’s fossil fuel production."

The time for others to do the same should and must be coming soon.

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