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The financial performance of some of the largest offshore wind developers in the world was hit in the first half of 2021 by significantly low wind speeds and other weather-related events.
Denmark’s Ørsted and Germany’s RWE both reported H1 interim financials on Thursday, and they both cited low wind speeds as a drag on their core earnings.
“Power generation decreased by 4 % relative to Q2 2020, primarily due to significantly lower wind speeds and lower availability,” Ørsted said, noting that wind speeds across its portfolio amounted to 7.5 m/s, which was both lower than in the same period last year (7.8 m/s), and in a normal wind year (8.0 m/s).
The second quarter of 2021 was among the worst three quarters for wind speeds in over more than 20 years, the company said, as carried by Reuters.
CEO Mads Nipper told reporters that Ørsted believes wind speeds would return to historically normal levels.
Ørsted now expects its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) for full-2021 to be at the low end of the guidance, mainly due to very low wind speeds in June and July.
“This guidance is based on an assumption of normal wind speeds for the last five months,” said the firm.
RWE also cited “below-average wind conditions at onshore wind farm locations in Northern and Central Europe” in its interim report.
“Aside from the fight against climate change we also have to deal with these weather effects becoming more regular,” CEO Markus Krebber said, as carried by Reuters.
On Wednesday, one of the world’s largest wind turbine makers, Vestas, revised down its 2021 guidance “to reflect the current environment characterised by supply chain constraints, cost inflation, and restrictions in key markets caused by COVID-19, and the impacts this is likely to continue to have in the second half of the year.”
Ørsted had said in June it was concerned that the race of the biggest oil companies to enter offshore wind could lead to spikes in seabed acreage prices, which would undermine project competitiveness and the speed of technology development.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.