Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

The Techno-Economic Potential of Offshore Wind Energy with Optimized Future Turbine Designs in Europe

Version 1 : Received: 12 February 2019 / Approved: 13 February 2019 / Online: 13 February 2019 (15:43:22 CET)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.


Renewable energy sources will play a central role in the sustainable energy systems of the future. Scenario analyses of such hypothesized energy systems require sound knowledge of the techno-economic potential of renewable energy technologies. Although there have been various studies concerning the potential of offshore wind energy, higher spatial resolution, as well as the future design concepts of offshore wind turbines, has not yet been addressed in sufficient detail. Here, we aim to overcome this gap by applying a high spatial resolution to the three main aspects of offshore wind potential analysis, namely ocean suitability, the simulation of wind turbines and cost estimation. A set of constraints is determined that reveal the available areas for turbine placement across Europe’s maritime boundaries. Then, turbine designs specific to each location are selected by identifying turbines with the cheapest levelized cost of electricity (LCOE), restricted to capacities, hub heights and rotor diameters of between 3-20 MW, 80-200 m and 80-280 m, respectively. Ocean eligibility and turbine design are then combined to distribute turbines across the available areas. Finally, LCOE trends are calculated from the individual turbine costs, as well as the corresponding capacity factor obtained by hourly simulation with wind speeds from 1980 to 2017. The results of cost-optimal turbine design reveal that the overall potential for offshore wind energy across Europe will constitute nearly 8.6 TW and 40.0 PWh at roughly 7 €ct kWh-1 average LCOE by 2050. Averaged design parameters at national level are provided in an appendix.


Offshore wind energy, future turbine design, floating foundation, fixed-bottom foundation, levelized cost of electricity


Engineering, Energy and Fuel Technology

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