– Two years ago we decided to participate in shaping the future of energy, not just continue business as usual, says Hanne Wigum, Manager R&D Renewable Technology, Equinor.

By Lill-Torunn Kilde, text and photo.

This week she has been part of the delegation from the Norwegian Solar Energy Cluster attending the International Floating Solar Symposium (IFSS) at ACES in Singapore. Wigum was one of the keynote speakers with her talk on “Breaking new ground in floating renewable energy”.

– Equinor wants to be a major player in renewable energy, building on the competence we have acquired through our oil and gas activities, says Wigum.

World´s first floating wind farm
Equinor´s Hywind Scotland project was the first floating wind farm in the world, taking 16 years to develop from the initial idea. Today Equinor´s wind parks outside the UK is producing 750 MW, supplying some 650 000 households with renewable electricity. Hanne Wigum sees a continuous potential in floating wind parks.

– We had the competence from offshore activities, so it was natural for us to focus on offshore wind first. We are continuing building floating wind parks, with a large market to tap into with floaters, and we also develop bottom fixed solutions, says Wigum.

Humble start
In her talk she highlighted Equinors competence in harsh environments, and agreed that the thought of combining floating wind installations and floating solar installations seems intriguing.

­– Solar PV is growing so fast it is outperforming other energy sources, so it makes sense having it in our portfolio. But we are humble newcomers. So far we have started a cooperation with Scatec Solar on land based solar plants in Brazil and soon also in Argentina, says Wigum.

Part of a strong community
This spring Equinor also became a member of the Norwegian Solar Energy Cluster, organizing some 80 solar energy businesses in Norway.

– We recognize that some of the best competence on solar energy is situated in Norway, and therefore we decided to become a member. Through the cluster we hope to learn and connect to both research institutions, and technology developers and businesses, says Wigum.

Getting to know the market
So what are your thoughts about the conference in Singapore?
– As a global player we are interested in being in the forefront of technology development and understand the trends and possibilities. We also recognize that Singapore is a major hub for solar energy in South East Asia, so we are here to learn about innovation, markets and technology, says Hanne Wigum.