Standing tall in Europe’s waters are 2,304 offshore wind turbines with a total capacity of 7,343MW across 73 wind farms in 11 different countries. Today, offshore wind is demonstrating its enormous power as a scalable energy resource for Europe and the rest of the world.

"Active and far-sighted EU and national policies have backed the industry to this point, but further policy support is needed for offshore wind to reach its full potential."

Samuel Leupold, executive vice-president for wind power at DONG; Jens Tommerup, CEO of MHI Vestas Offshore Wind; and Michael Hannibal, CEO offshore of Siemens Wind Power division, are industry leaders united in their vision to inspire the industry and send strong signals to Europe’s political leaders.

By 2030, offshore wind has the potential to meet 14% of Europe’s electricity demand – an amount vital to meeting the EU’s renewable energy ambitions. Looking further, without offshore wind energy, the EU will not meet its goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 80-95% by 2050.

To fulfil its massive potential, the offshore wind sector must increase its pace towards greater competitiveness. This will require commitment from the industry and the EU’s politicians.

The European Wind Energy Association will unite companies at EWEA OFFSHORE 2015, which takes place in Copenhagen, Denmark, 10-12 March.

The highly anticipated event – featuring an extensive exhibition housing leading international players and a knowledge-rich conference programme – will bring the sector together to share best practices, learn from the brightest minds the industry has to offer, and forge the leads and ideas that could bring costs down.

Better together
Cost reduction is more easily achieved when the industry is united, working together to achieve a common goal of lowering costs and exchange of best practice. Together, companies can think bigger in order to solve perhaps the biggest challenge offshore wind faces today.

With a united effort from the industry as a whole, players can make the contributions that will lead to cutting costs, and they can conceive the innovative practices that could launch offshore wind to the centre stage of the EU energy sector.

With Leupold, Tommerup and Hannibal as its three event ambassadors, EWEA OFFSHORE 2015 will bring the offshore sector together at the highest level.

"Only by building strong partnerships, and leveraging technical expertise and financial strength across the industry, can the necessary reductions in the cost of energy be made to bring offshore wind on a par with other energy sources, here in Europe, as well as in Asia and the US," says Tommerup. "I look forward to seeing you at EWEA OFFSHORE 2015, which provides an ideal platform to build on these partnerships."

"The offshore wind industry needs to bring down costs across the whole value chain," adds Hannibal. "The main levers are innovation in technology, along with industrialising the supply chain, including installation and logistics. EWEA OFFSHORE 2015 is the perfect opportunity for experts to share their best practices in a joint effort to make offshore wind power competitive with conventional energy sources."

Strong political signals
While the industry must take responsibility for bringing down costs, Europe’s politicians are also key to this success. Despite EU targets, over recent years, the sector has suffered from a lack of long-term and stable political commitment to renewable energy in many countries.

Today, however, European leaders are slowly waking up to the benefits of renewable energy. The agreement on a target of 27% renewable energy generation by 2030 is a good start – but concrete measures need to follow.

Leaders need to create the stable regulatory frameworks and policy measures that support offshore wind, allowing it to reach the volumes that are needed to give rise to an overall decrease in costs.

At EWEA OFFSHORE 2015, industry leaders will be voicing the pressing need for strong political support for offshore wind.

"Active and far-sighted EU and national policies have backed the industry to this point," says Leupold. "But further policy support is needed for offshore wind to reach its full potential. As an industry, we see the path of offshore wind becoming fully competitive during the next decade.

The EWEA OFFSHORE 2015 event in Copenhagen will be a fusion of the industry’s brightest minds.

Bringing the whole supply chain from around the globe together for three days is a recipe that is sure to produce the innovative ideas and leads that will accelerate cost reductions across the sector.

Throughout the 24 conference sessions, participants can also expect to learn about the very latest thinking in their field of interest, as well as make the right connections in the exhibition, and at a range of side events and social gatherings.

Taking place at a highly positive juncture for the industry, EWEA OFFSHORE 2015 will help the sector achieve its cost-cutting vision while also facilitating the EU in achieving its long-term renewable energy and climate-protection objectives.