When the Wind Blows: Fukushima Nuclear Disaster in Japan Drives Increased Demand for Renewable Energy at Statoil / News / The Foreigner

When the Wind Blows: Fukushima Nuclear Disaster in Japan Drives Increased Demand for Renewable Energy at Statoil. With a not-so-gentle nudge from the recent disaster at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, the Norwegian energy conglomerate Statoil is making a more concerted push into renewable energy, namely wind farms. Part of the new strategy entails shifting its onshore wind assets to a turf much more familiar to the energy giant: the sea. The incident at Fukushima has raised awareness in the energy sector over the vulnerability of more volatile energy sources, and Statoil is taking notice. Alluding to an increasing demand for renewables in the market, Stale Tungesvik, the head of Statoil’s newly established renewables sector, said, “after the events and up until now there has been a lot, a lot more pressure.” Innovation is at the forefront of Statoil’s expansion. Just ten kilometers off the south-west coast of Norway, Statoil has constructed the world’s first floating wind turbine, dubbed the Hywind project. The investment, which set Statoil back at least NOK 340 million, is nearing the end of its two-year pilot phase, and Statoil is currently scouting other areas off the United Kingdom and Norway for additional development sites.

statoil, hywind, fukushima, sheringhamshoal, doggerbank



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When the Wind Blows: Fukushima Nuclear Disaster in Japan Drives Increased Demand for Renewable Energy at Statoil

Published on Wednesday, 1st June, 2011 at 11:33 under the news category, by John Howard-Smith.

With a not-so-gentle nudge from the recent disaster at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, the Norwegian energy conglomerate Statoil is making a more concerted push into renewable energy, namely wind farms. Part of the new strategy entails shifting its onshore wind assets to a turf much more familiar to the energy giant: the sea.

Hywind on location
Hywind on location
Photo: Trude Refsahl/Statoil


The incident at Fukushima has raised awareness in the energy sector over the vulnerability of more volatile energy sources, and Statoil is taking notice. Alluding to an increasing demand for renewables in the market, Stale Tungesvik, the head of Statoil’s newly established renewables sector, said, “after the events and up until now there has been a lot, a lot more pressure.”

Innovation is at the forefront of Statoil’s expansion. Just ten kilometers off the south-west coast of Norway, Statoil has constructed the world’s first floating wind turbine, dubbed the Hywind project. The investment, which set Statoil back at least NOK 340 million, is nearing the end of its two-year pilot phase, and Statoil is currently scouting other areas off the United Kingdom and Norway for additional development sites.

Two other renewable energy ventures underscore Statoil’s progress in the sector: the 317 megawatt Sheringham Shoal and 9 gigawatt Dogger Bank wind farms, both off the coast of the United Kingdom. Both projects are destined for future expansion that will reportedly generate even greater power outputs.

But making the shift comes with a hefty price tag. Although both projects are joint ventures with multiple entities, Statoil has bought in significantly. The investment in the Sheringham Shoal project alone, a joint effort with Statkraft, a Norwegian power utility, amounts to approximately NOK 8.9 billion. Such costs, and the fact that the renewables department of Statoil is at an infant stage, leave profitability as a far-off goal.

Nevertheless, the financial might of Statoil places the organization in a position to make such an investment: for 2010, revenues were NOK 527 billion and net profit was reported as NOK 38 billion. Returns on the ventures may still be some time off, but Statoil intends to ride the winds of change.



Published on Wednesday, 1st June, 2011 at 11:33 under the news category, by John Howard-Smith.

This post has the following tags: statoil, hywind, fukushima, sheringhamshoal, doggerbank.





  
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