Macquarie's Green Investment Group and the French energy group Total have partnered up to develop five large offshore wind projects for South Korea, according to a Tuesday press release from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis.
Total, Macquarie team up for South Korea wind projects
Oil companies like Total have increased investments in renewable projects — hoping to reduce the global reliance on fossil fuels and increase their commitment to low-carbon investments, reports Reuters.
The partnership includes wind projects with a potential combined capacity of roughly 2.3 gigawatts (GW), with Macquarie and Total aiming to start building the first project of roughly 500 megawatts before the end of 2023.
"Our entry in the floating offshore wind segment in South Korea is in line with Total's strategy to profitably develop renewable energy worldwide and contribute to our net zero ambition," said CEO and Chairman Patrick Pouyanné, Reuters reports.
As of writing, Total possesses roughly 5 GW of renewable power capacity, and hopes to provide 25 GW by 2025. South Korea is interested in expanding its renewable power plant suite — in a future-facing bid to reduce reliance on coal, and reach net-zero emissions by 2050.
Growing industrial interest in offshore wind platforms
Each company will take a 50% stake in five separate projects in South Korea. The ambition and scope of the companies' joint timeline make this the first industrial-scale floating offshore wind farm the world has ever seen, reports Green Tech Media.
The growing number of floating wind pilot projects has garnered the interest of multiple oil companies. In 2022, Equinor's Hywind Tampen demonstration effort is slated to claim the prize of the world's largest, at 88 megawatts.
Floating wind power could open new global markets
Unlike typical, bottom-fixed substructures, floating wind power projects will allow for further expansion and development in areas with unfeasible seabed conditions — which could open up new markets in Southern Europe, East Asia, and the United States' West Coast.
The global climate crisis has begun to attract serious attention as the wildfires around the world are joined by intense hurricanes, exploding tundra in Siberia, and many other growing catastrophes. We can only hope efforts like that of the Total and Macquarie partnership eventually offset the world's reliance on fossil fuels.