21-Jul-2011 Source: Helitech
Offshore wind farms are expected to make a significant contribution to European electricity demand over the next 40 years, according to a report being published this month by the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA).
While onshore wind farms currently represent 96.5% of total installed wind energy capacity, the offshore wind sector is growing fast and in 2010 represented almost 10% of all new wind energy installations that year.
By 2050, EWEA assumes 735GW of wind power will be installed of which 460GW will be located offshore, outstripping onshore capacity by 275GW.
In light of the anticipated growth in wind farms â€“ by 2020 most EU countries are expected to have tripled their wind power capacity â€“ this yearâ€™s Helitech Conference is devoting a session to discussing the opportunities provided by wind farms as well as some of the challenges that operators could face. Helitechâ€™s conference is taking place at the Imperial War Museum at Duxford, near Cambridge, on the afternoon of 28 September and the morning of 29 September.
Session One on 28 September begins with a look at the future growth plans for European offshore wind farms given by The European Wind Energy Associationâ€™s Regulatory Affairs Advisor, Anne-BÃ©nÃ©dicte Genachte. Bristow Helicoptersâ€™ European Commercial Manager, Scott Butler, will then pick up the story with a look at the opportunities and challenges rotary air service providers face in supporting wind farm operations. The session will round up with two members of the RAFâ€™s UK SAR Force giving a glimpse into helicopter rescue techniques from offshore wind farms. Flight Lieutenant Lee Turner and Master Aircrew Chris Bodium have practical experience in researching rescue techniques in this relatively new field for search and rescue teams.
Helitech Exhibition Manager, Brandon Ward, said: â€œRepresentatives from many of the worldâ€™s largest oil and gas operators have been visiting Helitech since it launched 25 years ago. We wanted to provide a topical session to address some of the latest requirements of this important sector of the rotary wing market. Wind farm support is still in its early days but is obviously going to grow significantly over the coming years as more wind farms are established.â€
The Helitech Conference is proudly sponsored by Bell Helicopter and is being held during the three-day Helitech exhibition (27-29 September). To view the programme and book a free place visit www.helitechevents.com/conference