10000 offshore wind turbines are expected to be installed in European offshore waters until 2020. What requirements must wind turbine installation ships (WTIS) fulfil and what regulations apply?
Wind energy is one of the key renewable energy sources that will make a significant contribution towards the goals of clean and independent energy around the world. The wind energy industry is in a period of significant growth. New capacity is installed predominantly offshore rather than onshore - at least in Europe. Many market players are in the field and many different design concepts for offshore wind parks exist. The main driver is a political one: By 2020 the EU wants to cover 20% of its primary energy consumption with renewable sources. These significant activities of the offshore wind energy sector offer various opportunities for ship owners, operators and ship yards. This article highlights some of the key features and requirements of specialist construction vessels, namely the Wind Turbine Installation Ship, as a sub-category to the Offshore Service Vessel.