IHCantabria receives Spain’s 1st Offshore Wind Energy Award
The Spanish Wind Energy Association presented the 1st Offshore Wind Energy Award to IHCantabria for the “promotion and development of offshore wind energy in Spain” during the 1st Offshore Wind Energy Congress held in Bilbao on November 22 and 23.
The jury of this edition – made up of representatives of the leading companies in the offshore wind sector – has positively valued IHCantabria’s promotion of offshore wind development in Spain. “First, because IHCantabria promotes offshore wind energy development in Spain, being a pioneer and a world reference; second, because of its experience in research work and willingness to collaborate with both the public and private sectors. Third, they always promote scientific excellence and knowledge transfer by offering innovative solutions that contribute to the society we all want, which is fair, sustainable, responsible, inclusive and resilient,” said Alexandra de Marichalar, director of Iberia Offshore Wind at Total Energies.
Juan Diego Diaz Vega, president of AEE, presented the award and collected by Francisco Royano director of Technology Transfer at IHCantabria Raúl Guanche head of the Offshore Engineering and Marine Energies Group Javier Sarmiento y Lucía Meneses also attended the Congress..
Francisco Royano said: “This is a special award for IHCantabria.: «para IHCantabria es un premio especial. Its founders Íñigo Losada and Raúl Medina decided to create the institute 15 years ago and it is important on our birthday to have this award. We are a public research center, and we have the University of Cantabria and the Government of Cantabria in our DNA”. For his part, Raúl Guanche said that “in the last ten years we have carried out more than 120 research projects with a clear market orientation that shows our commitment to society, which is threefold: to ensure the best teaching to have the best professionals available to the sector, cutting-edge research to anticipate the challenges that our industry will face and transfer, so that science does not remain in a drawer and becomes a driving force in our society”.
Offshore wind power at the Institute of Environmental Hydraulics of the University of Cantabria.
IHCantabria has been committed to offshore wind since its beginnings, being, in fact, one of the pioneering institutions in Spain in its research and development. In 2007, when this sector was beginning, it became involved in initiatives such as IDERMAR, where it promoted floating technologies for measuring offshore wind resources and deployed the first floating structures for offshore wind in Spain. A few years later, in 2011, IHCantabria inaugurated the Gran Tanque de Ingeniería Marítima, a unique scientific-technical facility (ICTS MARHIS) unique in the field of hydraulic engineering and key in supporting offshore wind,which was funded by the Ministry of Science and Innovation and the Government of Cantabria.
IHCantabria has consolidated during the last 15 years a research team oriented to the study of the technical challenges facing offshore engineering: betting on a methodology based on hybrid modeling that combines the most advanced experimental techniques with state-of-the-art numerical models.
The effort made and the marked orientation of its research to the needs of the sector has resulted in the study of more than 60 fixed and floating technologies, as well as participation in 189 projects, 75% of which involve Spanish companies and seek to improve their scientific-technical capabilities for the sake of a competitive improvement at national and international level It also has more than 110 scientific-technical contributions, 50 of which have been published in Q1 and Q2 journals of reference in the sector; and participates in 4 teaching programs related to offshore wind in different universities in Spain and has trained more than 40 researchers and technologists.
Offshore wind power in Spain
The Congress brought together more than 450 experts from more than ten countries to advance on the key milestones of offshore wind. Spain has the complete value chain and the necessary infrastructure to address offshore wind development off our coasts and to be an international benchmark in floating offshore wind technology. Spain is, in fact, the first developer of floating offshore wind prototypes in the world and has port infrastructures with great potential as logistics centers and a naval industry with excellent capabilities.
Offshore wind energy development in Spain is a strategic development opportunity for the Spanish economy, creating new jobs and synergies with other industrial activities. In Spain there is a robust industrial fabric focused on the development of this technology, with a solid exporting character, coming from the leadership and experience acquired during the more than 20 years of implementation of onshore wind power, in addition to the experiences gained abroad in the marine field by Spanish companies. Several Spanish shipyards have participated in constructing floating structures for some of the world’s most important floating offshore wind projects.
In the White Paper on the Offshore Wind Industry, recently published by AEE, reference is made to the impact that offshore wind will have in Spain: more than 7,500 jobs in the period 2025-2030, growing to 17,400 in the period 2045-2050.