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US Earthshots | Floating Wind

image credit: Maine designed Concrete Floating concept
Charley Rattan's picture
World Hydrogen Leader , Charley Rattan Associates

UK based offshore wind & hydrogen corporate advisor and trainer; Faculty member World Hydrogen Leaders. Delivering global hydrogen and offshore wind corporate investment advice, business...

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  • Feb 24, 2023
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Maine, Concrete Floating foundation concept

Maine, Concrete Floating foundation concept

US Earthshots | Floating Wind

Immersed with the United States floating wind shot over the last couple of days. When the Americans state such ambitions they tend to do things rather differently from the sedate tea and biscuits oriented approach here in the UK. 

It was therefore with some aplomb that the the Floating Wind shot was led from the White House itself with some new faces. driving forward the sector, not least Secretary Haaland who gave a moving account of why renewables and the way forward was so important to the United States and indeed, the sustainability of the world.

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Given this hullabaloo around it was then refreshing to see the whole two days underpinned by quite rigorous science and innovation.

There are some important ramifications for those involved in driving the floating offshore wind sector to date. Not least the UK have already shared some of these with regard to our catapults.

We've been working away for over 15 years now. So a couple of things struck me about the American approach. It's driven by not just cost cutting, which is essential to it, but also to encourage American jobs and American their equivalent of levelling up with remote regions benefiting and if one is to be a host of a mega-project than to see tangible local jobs and  the community.

With this in mind, the Americans have a slightly different approach towards in that states themselves  This is very evident in Baton Rouge and Louisiana where Governor Edwards spoke of his pride at seeing not just Louisiana but to neighbouring Texas, helping drive forward the floating off shore sector, but as elsewhere, there is an expectancy that sheer size both of the turbines and indeed the leasing rounds will help drive down the cost to an anticipated $45 per megawatt hour within a decade. This, coupled with innovation should help her the sector become a major energy player within a very short period of time in the United States.

I was impressed how the state of the art thinking evidence which I've been sharing with the community linking floating offshore wind with hydrogen production is already baked-in to the American concept.

 

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The round table interagency innovation R & D priorities and resources session was especially informative, looking to home grown solutions to American and Gulf Of Mexico related issues .approach Boem to bring together other stakeholders should they wish to drive forward offshore sector

The Americans can be somewhat protective of their industry, not least through the vessels which have to be compliant with the Jones Act. And also with some of the innovation coming through. The image heading this article, for example, is from the University of Maine and a concrete structure for floating offshore wind. Concrete is perhaps easier to produce cheaper and perhaps more longer lasting than the steel and cable equivalent is being used today. See, whether homegrown concrete ambiente typhoon proof machines being tested proved to be a positive future for the sector moving into challenging areas.

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So an intense couple of days, with the Americans upbeat and engaged with the key stakeholders right from the outset and let's see whether, from a standing start, a floating US offshore sector linked with hydrogen can become a major factor in the global energy mix.

 

Floating Wind and Hydrogen

 

 

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