An integrated approach to wind turbine structure could reduce the cost of offshore wind by at least 10 per cent, a new report from DNV GL has found.

The firm’s FORCE (FOr Reduced Cost of Energy) report said the savings from a “joined-up” approach to the design of large offshore wind turbines and their jacket support structures can be achieved through the integration of four market-ready technologies: integrated design, relaxation of frequency constraints, enhanced control systems and slender, faster blades.

The savings could equate to what the report called a “conservative estimate” of more than €1bn over the next 10 years.

However, DNV GL also cautioned that these benefits can only be unlocked if the wind industry’s approach to engineering, design and procurement changes. The report advocates a shift towards collaboration in order to address what it called the misalignment of design-risk and cost-saving reward, which it says is currently blocking the cost-cutting power of near-market innovation.

Dr R V Ahilan, executive vice president for renewables advisory at DNV GL – Energy, said, “The cost savings identified by the FORCE team could be exploited by industry right now. The problem is the misalignment between the design risk of the changes needed and the cost-reduction reward delivered by those changes. Whilst the former mostly lies with the wind turbine manufacturer, the latter benefits the complete offshore wind asset. The technology is there – we now need to smash down the commercial barriers to make it happen.”