Report: Concept for repowering of Offshore wind farms

10 August 2021 - Published by Charlotte Lundsberg Baumgartner

The world today is now facing the adverse effects of the unprecedented human influence on the climate system. Many countries are now transforming their electricity sector with a focus on wind power to meet their climate targets. The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) predicts onshore and offshore wind combined, would generate 35% of the global electricity demand by 2050. The European Commission estimates installation of 450 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2050 in the European countries, which would meet 30% of Europe’s electricity demand. Europe added 2.9 GW of offshore capacity in 2020 and it now has a total installed offshore wind capacity of 25 GW connected across 12 countries. With this surge in installation of new OffshoreWind Farm (OWF) and due to the ageing fleet of currently operating OWF, the number of OWF required to be decommissioned will increase in the coming years.

About 3.5 GW of global offshore capacity will reach its designed operational life of 20-25 years by 2035. With 123 turbines already reaching their planned lifetime of 20 years by 2023, the decisions on the End of Life (EoL) scenarios should be researched upon as the problem is soon rising. Currently decommissioning is seen as the default option when an OWF reaches its EoL. It refers to taking down the structures and restoring the site as close to its original state. However, as the development of offshore wind is accelerating and the existing offshore fleet is ageing, it is essential to look into other cost effective and sustainable alternatives for OWF after their planned


The main scenarios which are currently discussed in the industry are namely:

• Life time extension
• Refurbishment
• Partial Repowering
• Full Repowering
• Decommissioning

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Different End of Life (EoL) scenarios for the Offshore Wind Farm (OWF) are required when either the turbine reaches its designed technical lifetime, has been subjected to failure or fatigue or no longer satisfies the expectations of the owner. Profitability, performance and reliability of the exiting OWF and cost benefit analysis of different EoL scenarios are necessary to make the optimal decision. 

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For questions please contact: 

Charlotte Baumgartner 

Project Manager