Page 25: of Maritime Reporter Magazine (April 2019)

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Astrid Skarheim Onsum

Senior Vice President, Head of Wind, Aker Solutions

Offshore renewable energy is gaining investment support in the United States, particularly on the east coast. While the U.S. is a full generation behind its Eu- ropean counterparts in tapping the wind as an energy source, if current plans come to fruition it could gain ground quickly. Recently we spoke with Astrid

Skarheim Onsum, SVP, Head of Wind Aker Solutions, for her view on the path ahead and the growing role and promising future of ‘? oating wind.’

By Greg Trauthwein winds of the North Sea have created a test bed and industrial

Please give an overview of your responsibilities as training center for what is now becoming a global industry.

SVP, Head of Wind, Aker Solutions?

Within my responsibilities fall the development of Aker When we look at the fundamentals and large potential for

Solutions’ strategic position in the global wind industry, offshore wind in the U.S., Europe and Asia, it is easy to be business and subsequent project development as well as inspired by the IRENA projection of 500 GW by 2050. wind engineering and technologies. It is an exciting time for We realize that ? oating is currently a smaller segment in offshore wind and especially for an emerging ? oating wind offshore wind. However, we see ? oating wind energy as an industry. We are looking at all ways we can help accelerate emerging industry that has all the right characteristics to commercialization of ? oating wind through our experience, grow exponentially. Bernstein Research analysis recently capabilities and technologies. quoted 7040 GW potential ? oating wind capacity across

Europe, USA, Japan and Taiwan! At the moment we are engaging across the board and bringing our system integra-

Aker Solutions is obviously large and diverse. Put tion capabilities to the table from technology development in perspective the shape and size of the “Offshore to project development. In ? ve years we believe we will see

Astrid Skarheim Onsum, SVP, Wind Energy” offering compared to traditional off-

Head of Wind Aker Solutions a lot of projects being developed and perhaps the ? rst com- shore energy segments. sees a bright future in offshore We go back to 1841 with industrial and maritime transfor- mercial farm already in operation. ? oating wind, which makes mation as a part of our DNA. Our origins are in understand- We also believe there is potential for utilizing wind power industrial, commercial and ing the oceans and managing the dynamics of water and the to electrify oil and gas facilities, and are engaging in this environmental sense.

maritime environment. Shipbuilding and hydropower tur- particularly in the North Sea and Brazil, to bring down the bines are parts of our history. In the past four to ? ve decades carbon footprint of production.

Image: Aker Solutions

Aker Solutions has focused on solutions for the offshore oil

When we met in San Diego you said “our big bet and gas industry. The global energy sector is undergoing right now is on offshore ? oating wind”. Can you massive change and sustainability is front and center of the please explain what you meant.

change agenda. We believe we are talking about a transition in the energy mix over some time. However, we see a world We believe that offshore ? oating wind makes industrial, where renewables will play an ever-bigger role, and we commercial and environmental sense. With the larger tur- have value to add. We have innovated and developed proven bines being developed now, capacity goes up and economy deepwater technologies that are now becoming highly rel- of scale can be effectively realized. For Aker Solutions, the evant for the wind industry. synergies between offshore ? oating wind farms and our ca- Through ongoing collaborative innovation projects, we pabilities from the offshore oil and gas industry are obvious. are also seeing that ? oating wind power can help unleash Over ? ve decades, we have designed more than a 160 ? oaters a greater blue economy, including offshore aquaculture - (including spar buoys, TLPs, barges and 60% of the world’s where we have our own concepts - and green shipping. semi-submersible ? oaters) for all kinds of conditions across the globe; we understand and deliver power systems (cables and substations) that can take the dynamic forces that ? oat-

To start, please share your ‘big picture’ view on Off- ing wind entails; we have relevant technologies quali? ed for shore Wind today as an industry. Speci? cally, where installation on the sea bed and have a strong track record in do you see the brightest opportunities for growth in unmanned offshore facilities. Offshore project execution as the coming 1 to 5 years?

Over the last 20 years, there has been tremendous growth well as digital operations and maintenance services are core in bottom ? xed offshore wind. The shallow water and good capabilities of our organization. 25

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