South Korea’s ambitious plan of being powered 20% by renewable energy sources by 2030 includes 13 GW of offshore wind. NIRAS’ expertise can benefit South Korea in its transition.
2017 marked a special year within transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy as the first offshore wind farms were auctioned at an energy price no longer requiring subsidies. Since then, many countries, including South Korea, have pronounced their goals and increased the incitement to create more wind power.
NIRAS recently joined a delegation to South Korea with the Danish Minister of Energy, Climate and Utilities, as part of the annual Green Growth Alliance meeting between the two countries:
“We were in South Korea to collaborate on the joint success of our clients that will finally make South Korea successful in its energy transition”, says Head of Department in NIRAS, Tore Lucht.
NIRAS has previously provided its 25+ years European experience to new evolving markets for offshore wind, the latest example being the success in Taiwan. Experience shows that developers and investors can benefit from two major areas, the first being NIRAS’ assistance on development of offshore wind farms: “The development needs to be driven by a healthy and de-risked business case that will finally attract investment”.
In the second area, engineering design, NIRAS follows state-of-the-art experience from Europe. The offshore substructures, for example, are dynamic structures thus adding more steel, and as Tore Lucht says, this will not create a conservative result, but result in significant challenges during installation.
Next breakthrough is when the storage of the renewable energy is resolved and the request for energy becomes flexible beyond the general peak hours – a challenge that the South Korean market is bound to focus on based on their limited inter connection: “Smart grid and electrical cars are two steps in the right direction. Besides this, there is an upside to develop floating offshore wind in South Korea as many of the potential sites with high wind potential relate to deep waters”, Tore says, adding that NIRAS is already in dialog with potential developers regarding floating foundations.
According to Tore Lucht, the offshore wind market is becoming global: “Our clients are going there, new clients are evolving and we will follow to provide our consultancy. The Asian region is one of our key markets based on our strong presence in Taiwan and Bangkok”.