German energy company RWE has raised concerns about the viability of large offshore wind generation projects due to escalating costs. Markus Krebber, the CEO of RWE, warns that if the challenges faced by the offshore wind industry continue, progress in combating climate change could be compromised. Several projects in the UK and the US have already been halted due to soaring costs, despite the increasing demand for renewable energy. Krebber attributes the rising prices of offshore turbines to inflation and strained supply chains. However, RWE remains committed to implementing its own offshore projects as planned. The company is currently involved in two major offshore projects in the Irish Sea, namely the Dublin Array and Celtic Sea Wind projects. Additionally, RWE operates a number of onshore wind farms and battery storage facilities in Ireland, with plans for further expansion.
Krebber emphasizes that it would be the worst-case scenario for the energy transition if already awarded large projects fail to materialize as planned, as this would undermine the achievement of climate protection targets. In a call with journalists, he urges suppliers to increase their capacity and suggests that countries should design auctions with longer lead times, exceeding the current standard of five years, to ensure long-term supply chain security. RWE’s operations span 15 countries across Europe, the Americas, and the Asia-Pacific region.
The challenges faced by the offshore wind industry are not unique to RWE. In recent weeks, other companies have also expressed concerns about rising costs. The industry is grappling with inflation and supply chain disruptions, which have led to significant price increases for offshore turbines. These difficulties pose a threat to the progress made in transitioning to renewable energy sources and meeting climate targets.
RWE’s commitment to its own offshore projects in the Irish Sea is a positive step towards achieving Ireland’s renewable energy goals. The Dublin Array and Celtic Sea Wind projects are expected to contribute significantly to the country’s renewable energy capacity. RWE’s expansion plans in Ireland further demonstrate its confidence in the potential of the Irish market for renewable energy.
To address the challenges faced by the offshore wind industry, Krebber calls for increased capacity from suppliers. This would help alleviate the strain on supply chains and potentially lower costs. Additionally, he suggests that countries should consider longer lead times for auctions, allowing for better planning and ensuring the security of the supply chain in the long term.
The concerns raised by RWE highlight the importance of addressing the challenges faced by the offshore wind industry. As the demand for renewable energy continues to grow, it is crucial to find solutions that ensure the feasibility of large-scale offshore wind projects. Failure to do so could have significant implications for climate protection efforts and hinder progress in transitioning to a more sustainable energy future.