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08/06/2018 - 10:19

Located in the North Sea, the Merkur offshore wind farm has produced it’s very first power, according to Merkur Offshore GmbH.

 

Following a successful first test, the turbine was gradually increased to the maximum power that could have been achieved at the time due to wind speed, which was 2MW.

 

In September 2018, the remaining turbines are scheduled to be installed with the 396MW offshore wind farm expected to be fully operational in 2019.

 

When finished, the offshore wind farm is estimated to supply half a million households with green energy.

 

- see more: https://www.the-eic.com/News/NewsStory/Merkur-offshore-wind-farm-produces-first-power.aspx?ArticleID=4527&tabid=766&dm_i=4E8P,A5GL,16Q0R7,140XV,1

03/05/2018 - 14:59

It is difficult to predict the future of renewable energy. Recently, however, there has been a lot of craze surrounding the sector.

 

Late last year, £340 million was raised by Greencoat UK Wind, along with The Green Investment Group who made an investment of £38 million. This resulted in the UK re-joining the top 10 countries for investment in renewables. Another sign of a resurgence in the renewables sector is the development of new technologies.

 

Additionally, In January 2018, Acuris carried out a survey which stated that the respondents believe offshore wind will see the biggest growth in M&A activity in 2018. With Hydropower, Photovoltaic solar and Thermal solar following closely behind.

 

This all points to a brighter and more sustainable future for Renewable Energy. If you are looking to recruit or need help obtaining a job within this sector, please do not hesitate to contact us at hello@cathcartenergy.com.

 

Read more on the Renewables sectors’ future: https://www.insider.co.uk/special-reports/renewable-energy-predictions-shepherd-wedderburn-12460684

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22/03/2018 - 16:04

Norway, once known as Europes largest Oil & Gas producer, is making a remarkable transition towards renewable energy. Sure, the country has been a big producer of renewables for many
years, mainly thanks to the many hydropower plants across the country. And things are about to get greener.

Over the last few years, there has been a significant movement away from the Oil & Gas sector, and recently some of the largest Scandinavian actors out there, like previous Dong Energy (now Orsted) and Norwegian entity Statoil, rebranding themselves as Equinor. And it's not really unexpected. The citizens of Scandinavia are highly aware of climate-sensitive issues and dedicated to fighting climate change.

Norway has become a hub for green investors from Europe, and several large actors are investing in the country's development of onshore wind power. Back in 2012, Norway had a capacity of 700MW and the goal is to increase this to 2GW by the year 2020. And it seems they are well on their way. In 2016, Norwegian Statkraft and TrønderEnergi started the construction of their 1GW project Fosen in central Norway. The wind farm will consist of 6 wind farms with a total of 278 turbines, all supplied from Danish Vestas, and the foundations will be delivered by the Norwegian subsidiary of Peikko Group. This project will more than double Norway's current wind capacity, which is not a small feat and definitely encouraging for the future of the country's wind power market.

Norway has a reliable regional and national grid structure, as well as optimal conditions for wind power, and there are both local developers and investors involved in the mix. Swedish Eolus Vind, as well as Nordisk Vindkraft (a subsidiary of RES), are both on the market, with Eolus developing Øyfjellet in Nordland and Nordisk Vindkraft working on the Buheii project in Vest Agder shire. Moreover, large European developers have realised the potential of Norway, and companies such as Italian based Falck Renewables and Swiss Scanenergy are developing projects in the Northern part of the country.

And Norway's commitment to the development of their onshore wind sector is strong. According to Norwegian energy minister Tord Lien, they "intend to ensure that the solutions that the energy market promises, allow us to improve the flexibility of the national energy system. Our aim is to strengthen the energy cooperation between the Scandinavian countries to create a solid, modern energy distribution network. The new technologies and the use of smart management systems will help to improve the future security of supplies". Norway is on track, and are becoming an increasingly sustainable country.

So, what are the challenges in this lucrative market, full of possibility? Well, from what I hear from my network of clients, there is a skills shortage in the Norwegian Wind Sector, which is proving to be challenging for the continued development of the market. In particular, it's difficult to find wind turbine technicians, construction managers with experience of groundworks, and experienced HSE Advisors who can ensure that quality and safety is maintained on site. What can be done here?

A lot of foreign developers tend to bring in workers from their main country of operation, and several companies bring over workers from the UK (in particular Site Managers and HSE Advisors). However, there are challenges with that. First of all, Norway is expensive, and if a company sends workers out for a substantial amount of time, they will need to pay for accommodation, otherwise, the normal day rates that apply in the sector will skyrocket. Then there is also the issue of Norwegian tax. See, everyone who works in Norway for more than 3 days in a row, is liable to pay Norwegian tax. I know, Scandinavia is tricky. But there are valid reasons behind it, and essentially, it's government regulations so we just have to deal with it.

So, what to do? There has always been a lot of crossover between Sweden and Norway in particular, and I would say if you can't find good workers in Norway, try Sweden. The languages are very similar, and so is the culture and terrain.

However, if you have the option to hire a local guy, that is always the best way to go about things by far. They will know how things work, they will know the system, and they won't be crazy shocked at how expensive everything is. But in order to do this, you pretty much need to have a Norwegian subsidiary, or run them through an agency, as Norwegian employment law is strict. Also, make sure you budget properly for the region. Employing someone in Norway is not cheap. There are all sorts of other things to consider when operating in Norway as a foreign entity, and in Scandinavia in general, however, I will cover those in a separate article later on.

With that said, the future for the Norwegian wind sector sure looks promising, and if you are planning to enter the market, I am happy to speak about the challenges and opportunities it provides. Moreover, if you are looking to recruit in Norway, and need some local skills, just get in touch by calling +46 40 668 80 66 or send an email to sigrid.carstairs@cathcartenergy.com, and I would be more than happy to help.

Sigrid Carstairs
Renewable Energy Consultant
Cathcart Associates Energy Ltd.

 

22/01/2018 - 16:26

Being the home to some of the worlds largest wind energy companies (Vestas Wind Systems A/S and Orsted A/S), it should come as no surprise that Denmark has once again set a world record, with the largest percentage of it's energy production last year originating from wind energy (43,4%). And they are not about to slow down any time soon. The Danish government aims to derive 50% of all it's energy consumption from renewable energy sources by the year 2030. Now, I'm no mathematician (to be honest I'm far from it), but is seems they are pretty much on target to achieve this.

The massive investments that we have seen in renewable energy across the Nordic countries is now paying off, and on Tuesday night this week the Nordic region set a new record when it comes to the production of energy from renewable sources. This week, wind power produced 12.1 GW in total across the Nordic region. (To put this in context, it is according to vindkraftsnyheter.se more than all nuclear power in the Nordic regions can produce per hour). Not bad.

And that's not it. Denmark is seeing large investments projected in renewables, with Vattenfall Wind planning to add more than 20% to Danish wind capacity over the next 5 years, investing more than 2,6 billion euro in Denmarks transition to become fully powered by renewable energy (afp.com). This makes Swedish Vattenfall the largest developer of wind power in Denmark (look out Orsted and Vestas)!

However, there are concerns regarding the market.

According to the Danish Energy Minister, Lars Chr. Lilleholt, the price of energy is moving in a downward spiral in Denmark (bloomberg.com), and the generation of energy has exceeded the market demand at this point, which can cause problems similar to those we have seen on the German market recently, and the downturn in growth the Swedish market experienced a few years back (and now seems to be coming back from). The problem when the electricity price is to low is that it scares off investors, which slows down the development of new wind farms. And this is not something that any of us in the industry (or who cares about the environment) want's to see.

However, Denmark seems confident in the continued development of wind power across the nation, and according to Lilleholt, he is confident wind will no longer need state support in the form of subsidiaries (bloomberg.com). And with Vestas forecasting to up it's cash flow in the year to 31 December of between €1.15bln and €1.25bln, up from previous guidance of between €450m and €900m, the prognosis sure looks promising. As Orsted moves away from their oil & gas background to become fully renewable, and MHI Vestas growing at a steady pace, I am confident Denmark will continue to hold its place as world leader of wind energy for a long time to come, and as the industry grows, the need for more qualified people in the industry will increase.

So, if you are looking to recruit, and need help, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me on +46 40 668 80 66, or by sending an email to sigrid.carstairs@cathcartenergy.com.

The same goes if you are looking for a new role in the renewable energy sector in Denmark, or across Scandinavia.

Sigrid Carstairs
Renewable Energy Consultant
Cathcart Associates Energy

18/01/2018 - 17:29

The capacity of offshore wind could increase dramatically by the 2030s resulting in a massive reduction of carbon emissions and positively saving on consumer bills.            

A report form Aurora Energy predicts that by 2025, the number of wind turbines in the seas could be built with contract that are “zero-subsidy”.

Aurora senior project leader Hugo Batten said: "Stabilising future market revenues via contracts for difference significantly reduces risks for investors and is critical in attracting financing and supporting further offshore wind build-out, albeit some future price or merchant risk is transferred to the government and ultimately consumers."

Read more on this: https://www.insider.co.uk/news/offshore-wind-projects-2018-predictions-1...

 

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