What If Oil Companies Used Their Expertise To Deliver Alternative Energy Solutions?

Statoil is one of the world’s largest oil and gas companies, operating 34 fields on or near the Norwegian continental shelf, among its other global operations. Its expertise extracting fossil fuels has made it uniquely suited to innovating green solutions, as evidenced by its scale test of gigantic wind turbines off the coast of Scotland.

Jan Fredrik Stadaas, strategy & innovation manager at Statoil, explained: “Sometime in 2002, people were discussing the possibilities for more offshore oil facilities, and they started looking at different concepts.”

It turns out that the hydrodynamics and aerodynamics for anchoring systems get more effective out at sea, though the idea is perhaps counterintuitive. There’s more turbulence the closer you get to shore and, when it comes to wind speed, it goes up the further away you are.

Stadaas joined Statoil in 2004 from Norsk Hydro to lead development of a business case for the wind opportunity (he’d been a wind guy for over a decade. The rest of Norsk Hydro joined him when Statoil merged with the company in 2007.

“It was a multi-faceted approach, so we had everyone in the same room working on oil & gas as well as wind,” he said.

Read the entire essay at Innovation Communicator