The DNV GL ‘FORCE’ manifesto, launched on 11 June, identifies potential cost savings for the offshore wind industry of at least 10%.

The Project FORCE team (FOr Reduced Cost of Energy) which consists of 25 expert design and support engineers from cost-modelling, offshore load calculation, blade design, controller design, drive train design and support structure design disciplines has pooled its expertise and identified 12% in cost of energy savings that can be achieved by the integration of a range of technologies – all of which could be realised in the next few years. Energy savings of at least 10% could be made by the integration of four market-ready technologies, equating to over €1bn in NPV terms over the next decade.

The cost of energy produced from offshore wind is around 50% higher than its onshore equivalent., says DNV GL. The cost savings identified by the FORCE team could be exploited by industry right now if industry shifts to collaborative design, engineering and procurement processes.

Project FORCE was set up to explore how the concept of integrated design could reduce offshore wind costs when applied to the wind turbine and its supporting structure for a typical project. The multi-disciplinary project has revealed the magnitude of the potential savings through the combination of four technologies (integrated design, relaxation of frequency constraints, enhanced control systems and slender, faster blades) that could be achieved over the next decade.

However, these benefits can only be unlocked if the industry’s approach to engineering, design and procurement changes. Executive vice president for renewables advisory at DNV GL, Dr RV Ahilan commented: "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."

In order to remove these barriers, DNV GL believes a rapid maturation of industry practice is needed via an integrated and collaborative approach to design, engineering and procurement. DNV GL invites expressions of interest in a potential Joint Industry Project (JIP) to accelerate such a transition.

It is DNV GL’s hope that if the collaborative approach to engineering, design and procurement championed in this report can be applied in a broader sense, there will be a change of mind-set toward building and operating offshore wind "power stations" rather than collections of individual wind turbines – offering cost reduction benefits well beyond the minimum 10% identified in the work of project FORCE.

Dr Tim Camp, Head of Turbine Engineering at DNV GL commented: "Ultimately healthy levels of collaboration are as important as healthy levels of competition. Whilst we have made significant progress on improving supply chain competition over the last few years, it is now time that we start acting like a mature industry – embracing both collaboration and integration."

The full report is available online at: <>