Knowledge-Transfer Webinar: Offshore wind


Women in Wind held its second Knowledge-Transfer Webinar yesterday, on the topic of offshore wind. We were delighted to welcome Anna Diedrichkeit, Offshore Product Management Leader, GE Renewable Energy (pictured above), Liz Burdock, CEO & President, Business Network for Offshore Wind, and Susanne Landskröner, Principal Engineer Steel Structures, Civil Engineering, DNV GL, to share their insights with our program Participants in a closed-door webinar.

Some of the insights include:

  • Anna provided an overview of the journey of offshore wind over the last 25 years, since the first commercial offshore turbine was installed in Denmark in 1958. She delineated the different design, installation and accessibility challenges between offshore and onshore wind, including higher wind speeds, salt in the air, waves and currents and BOP as a share of CAPEX. Evolution of LCOE is making offshore wind more competitive, driven in part by external factors like steel prices, technological development and excellence and maturation.
  • Liz spoke about the importance of collaboration in stakeholder engagement, as offshore wind projects face key stakeholder groups of the military, vessel operators, coastal towns and public and fishery associations. In this context, she highlighted women’s special skill-set in listening and collaboration skills.
  • She also spoke about the rapid growth of offshore wind in the US, from around 450 MW in the pipeline in 2017 to nearly 21 GW committed in 2019. This growth story was echoed by each speaker, highlighting the proliferation of offshore wind technology beyond European markets to places like Taiwan, China, Japan, the US, and further down the road, India, South East Asia and Australia.
  • Susanne concluded the presentations by introducing the certification and standards process for offshore wind projects, including design assessment, testing, surveying and quality control. For offshore wind, the relevant assets include wind turbines and support structures, substation installation and equipment, as well as power cables. The expansion of offshore wind to new markets, she said, brought new challenges in environmental conditions like typhoons, earthquakes and subsea dunes.

Webinar participants contributed to a lively Q&A session, asking questions such as how environmental impact of offshore wind was measured. To close, each speaker shared a 10-second piece of career advice. There was strong agreement behind the advice: “Don’t be shy. Take a seat at the table.”

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