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Offshore power grids: paving the way for a sustainable future

In the quest to accelerate the energy transition and meet the goals of the Paris Agreement by 2030, offshore power grids are pivotal.

In the race to achieve Net Zero Emissions by 2050, the importance of offshore wind power cannot be overstated. To stay on track with this ambitious goal, there needs to be an eight-fold increase in installed offshore wind capacity from 51 GW to a staggering 359 GW by 2030. Additionally, experts predict that by 2050, approximately 3000 offshore wind farms need to be connected to the grid. The majority of this wind power will be destined for inland demand, necessitating a monumental leap in the development of offshore power grids in terms of power ratings, voltages, and distances.

Challenges and opportunities

The rapid expansion of offshore power grids presents both challenges and opportunities. Key challenges include regulations, technology development, pace of built-up, standardization across borders, integration into the onshore AC grids, expert staffing, supply chain management, risk mitigation, quality assurance, and the long-term performance of these grids. However, it also opens up exciting prospects for innovation, efficiency, and environmental sustainability.

Coordinated grid development

Efficient grid development is paramount to maximize utilization, reliability, and cost-effectiveness while minimizing environmental impact. This includes the creation of hybrid or meshed grids with clear interoperability requirements, energy islands, and a system-of-systems approach (P2X) to optimize wind power usage and mitigate congestion.

Technological advancements

Innovation and new technologies are critical to speeding up the development of High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) grids. HVDC circuit breakers are essential for ensuring a reliable system. While prototypes from various manufacturers show promise, further development and improvements are needed. Reducing the size of offshore platforms, including converters and breakers, is crucial for cost reduction. Moreover, increasing the voltage and power ratings of breakers, converters, and cables is necessary to build a 'super grid' with ratings exceeding current levels.

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Digitization and data-driven management

Digitization and data-driven asset management are game-changers for offshore power grids. Continuous monitoring of assets, their health, and the surrounding environment can improve operations and availability and minimize the offshore staffing demand. More smart technologies are becoming available giving relevant data for operational decision making. Smart guarding and warning systems can enhance the security of offshore infrastructures.

Risk mitigation and quality assurance

20231031 Offshore power grids blog 2 260x260pToo many failures happen in offshore power grids that can be prevented. The offshore wind sector is the mode of bigger and faster and that adds new risks on its own. To prevent failures and ensure the longevity of offshore power grids, robust risk management, standards adherence, and best practices are indispensable. Setting clear requirements and thorough verification and certification throughout all development stages are key to achieving high-quality, error-free execution.

DNV's role

DNV, with its profound knowledge of offshore and power systems, plays a crucial role in the success of offshore power grids. The company covers every aspect of an asset's lifecycle, from design and quality control to test witnessing, diagnostics, and root cause failure analysis. DNV is known for its proactive development of industry standards and best practices, contributing to its reputation as a reliable third-party entity.


In the quest to accelerate the energy transition and meet the goals of the Paris Agreement by 2030, offshore power grids are pivotal. DNV's commitment to this endeavor is evident in its comprehensive approach and expertise. If you're looking to be a part of the offshore power grid revolution and contribute to a sustainable future, reach out to DNV. Together, we can make offshore power grids a success and bring us closer to a world powered by clean, renewable energy.

11/22/2023 9:00:00 AM

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Wessel Bakker

Wessel Bakker

Business Development Manager

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