The numbers are impressive to say the least. Hywind Tampen, the largest floating offshore wind farm in the world, was just launched this week in Norway. It is the Equinor company that created and will operate this site. With its 11 8.6 megawatt turbines, it is located 140 km from the coast, with a water depth of between 260 and 300 meters.
An offshore wind project that could cause controversy
In theory, then, everything is fine, and this park could help to amplify efforts to decarbonize and combat climate change. But there is a big catch. Indeed, the energy produced on the wind farm is intended to supply the Norwegian oil and gas platforms.
Thus, this project, which will eventually produce 94.6 MW, will supply the oil and gas fields of Snorre and Gullfaks, report our colleagues from Electrek. Enough to supply 35% of the electricity needs of the five platforms concerned.
While Equinor welcomes the fact that this “will thus reduce the annual emissions of the fields by approximately 200,000 tonnes of CO2, which is equivalent to the emissions of 100,000 vehicles”not sure that everyone will be convinced.
In the midst of COP 27, the United Nations recently affirmed that “Human activities have been the main driver of climate change, mainly due to the burning of fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas. »
For his part, the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, drove the point home: “We are in the fight of our lives, and we are losing. Greenhouse gas emissions continue to grow, global temperatures continue to rise, and our planet is rapidly approaching tipping points that will make climate chaos irreversible. »
France and the United States position themselves on offshore wind power
Be that as it may, offshore wind projects have been on the rise lately, particularly in France. We were talking to you in particular about the gigantic construction site in Normandy in Fécamp. 72 gravity foundations of 5000 tonnes were laid offshore. This site could eventually cover the electricity needs of 700,000 people. If you are interested in the subject, you can read our article here.
Note that the United States is not left out on this issue. The Biden administration has also given itself a goal that is impressive to say the least. The idea is to increase the capacity of floating offshore wind turbines to 15 gigawatts by 2035. A major research program has also been launched to reduce the cost of these technologies by 70%.