Offshore wind: TotalEnergies strengthens its position in the North Sea

11/17/2021

TotalEnergies’ ambition is to be a world-class player in the energy transition. As part of this, we are committed to providing solutions that contribute to fighting climate change and advancing sustainable development. In Scotland, for example, we have several renewable energy projects underway to help the country reach its 2045 carbon neutrality goal. 

Offshore wind power, with its low greenhouse gas emissions, is a fuel of the future. That’s why we are increasing the number of projects in the British North Sea. 

In June 2020, we acquired a stake in the Seagreen 1 project, which sets out to develop the largest offshore wind farm in Europe. In September 2021, we took part in the Scotwind round bid for the development of a wind project west of the Orkney Islands, with the potential to supply more than two million homes with renewable electricity. And leveraging the offshore expertise that we have built in Aberdeen over the last 50 years, we have opened an offshore wind hub in Scotland’s third-largest city to enable the transition of teams from oil and gas to wind power, as that part of the Company’s U.K. business grows. 

We are also working with our partners to develop a large-scale green hydrogen facility in this same area, powered by renewable energy from our offshore wind projects. 

Interview: offshore wind, a key part of our strategy

In addition to these projects in the United Kingdom, we are involved in the development of the offshore wind industry in France, the United States, Norway and other countries. Stéphane Michel, President, Gas, Renewables & Power at TotalEnergies, explains how this market contributes to the Company’s broad energy strategy.

What is the Company’s growth strategy in renewables?

Stéphane Michel / As part of our transformation into a broad energy company, we want to rank among the world’s top five renewable energy producers, with a target of 100 gigawatts (GW) by 2030. Thanks to the work done by our teams, we already have 10 GW in installed capacity and a project portfolio that will lift that to 35 GW by 2025, of which 2 GW from offshore wind. To get to 100 GW, we will pursue our development through our existing platforms and activate two other levers. The first involves capitalizing on our worldwide presence to find and develop new projects – that’s the role of our 50-strong network of Renewable Explorers. The second is offshore wind power, which should contribute 15 GW by 2030. Offshore wind is booming, and its costs have decreased considerably. TotalEnergies wants to take part in this growth by leveraging its experience in this area thanks to stakes in Seagreen in the United Kingdom and Yunlin in Taiwan, its expertise in offshore oil, and its ability to manage megaprojects and put together the necessary financing. 

What are the main challenges of offshore wind?

S.M. / You have to make a distinction between fixed-bottom and floating wind turbines. For the first, the challenge is reducing costs. For the second, it’s finding technological solutions that will make projects robust and cost-effective so we can reach deeper water and unlock considerable additional potential. In that regard, the offshore skills the Company has accumulated over decades, now gathered within One Tech, are an invaluable asset. We are therefore working with the main global turbine and floater suppliers to design and industrialize the best technical solutions. And we are among the first to use them in the floating wind power projects currently under development. Offshore wind is similar to the Oil & Gas industry in that they both require a long-term outlook and massive investments. We need to spread our risks by teaming up with partners. To do that, we have to be recognized as a credible player, and that’s just what we’ve become. Major players in offshore wind are now coming to us to propose partnerships.