By the end of 2021, 55GW of offshore wind capacity was installed globally, with over a third of this being installed within 2021. However, according to the IEA, an additional 70-80GW will need to be installed every year from 2030 in order to achieve Net Zero by 2050.
As demand for renewable energy grows, the offshore wind industry needs to scale up rapidly to meet this level of ambition, and this must be in a sustainable way. Building on the decarbonisation efforts at an individual wind farm level, the Sustainability JIP will be key to creating a consistent approach to account for carbon impacts, increase transparency of supply chain emissions and accelerate engagement across the value chain.
While offshore wind energy generation has a significantly lower carbon impact than fossil fuels, the sector must still work with suppliers to reduce emissions linked to the carbon and resource-intensive models of production, deployment and operation with key hotspots such as steel, cement and fuels.
Standardising offshore wind carbon footprinting
The first project delivered as part of the Offshore Wind Sustainability Joint Industry Programme will:
- Develop the first standardised methodology to enable developers to calculate the lifecycle emissions of their offshore wind assets, including their upstream supply chain emissions, the construction phase and the operations phase.
- Engage with the industry and standardisation bodies to improve data quality and availability and promote greater supply chain transparency
- Identify key carbon emission drivers and hotspots in the offshore wind value chain and wind farm life cycle.
A common standard will ensure the scale of installation needed is delivered in a low carbon way and enable comparability across developers and assets.
The programme officially kicks off in January 2023 with the methodology expected to be released for use across the industry by end of 2024.
bp, EnBW, Fred Olsen Seawind, Parkwind, Ørsted, SSE, Shell, SPR, RWE, Total Energies, Equinor and Vattenfall