Roadmap for offshore wind projects

Regulation & Policy, Renewables    Nov 11, 2021 4:59 PM

The government has been preparing a roadmap to develop offshore wind farm projects in the short and medium term.

The development of these unconventional renewable energy sources already have the support of multilateral organizations and foreign governments, Portafolio reported.

The goal is to develop these projects in shallow waters of the Caribbean Sea off the coasts of Atlántico, Magdalena and La Guajira.

“Colombia has great potential in offshore wind energy in areas of Barranquilla, Santa Marta and Riohacha. We are developing, with the support of the World Bank and the UK government, the roadmap for the development of this technology in the country, and it will be published in the first quarter of 2022 for comments,” Vice Minister of Energy Miguel Lotero said.

Lotero led the technical team of the Ministry of Mines and Energy (MinEnergia) that traveled to Denmark to exchange knowledge and key experiences to advance the development of these projects.

The roadmap will be complemented with a study to identify key areas in the Caribbean Sea to develop the initiatives.

Technical experts from MinEnergia said that the wind projects being developed onshore in the peninsula of La Guajira are surprising for their results, thanks to the high level of wind speed. However, the results in the offshore could be much better, since the air currents are greater in shallow waters.

It is estimated that the wind has a speed of one meter per second (1 m/s) above coastal areas, due to the fact that there are no obstacles to prevent the air currents from cutting through.

Another advantage of offshore wind farms is that, being close to urban centers, the energy reaches more people, thus satisfying their main needs.

However, offshore wind farms also have some disadvantages: the investment and maintenance costs are higher than those of a wind power plant installed on land, in addition to the procedure to obtain an environmental license, as it would be more complex due to the nature of the work.

Bottom-Line: The development of these projects represents great challenges for the country in legal, technical, logistical and social terms.

It is positive that the government is announcing a roadmap for the development of this sector, but this must be accompanied by incentives and regulatory changes, mainly concerning licensing.

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