Offshore windpower

Offshore windpower

Offshore windpower

11/30/16

“How can we use coastal winds to enhance wind power?”

One of the primary criticisms launched against sustainable energy advocates is the systems for extrapolating such energy forms are too limited in geography, time of day, and energy density. However, thanks to the strong willpower of renewable energy engineers, we could have a new technology that could fundamentally upset this paradigm. In the past, wind turbines were only built on solid terrain. Even though this was the simpler way of doing things, it had a major drawback due to the fact that wind is not omnipresent. However, thanks to the flat and low friction nature of water, winds currents are much stronger and consistent over the ocean. And since higher wind current means higher wind power, wouldn’t it be logical to have wind turbines placed in the ocean? This is the exact behind offshore wind power. Offshore wind turbines only have 2 percent of the energy payback time as regular onshore turbines, are less noticeable to the common public, and can be located near a high number of population centers. However, like with everything in engineering, there are always drawbacks with offshore windpower, such as the fact that it takes much more materials to construct such turbines, and the technology is only nascent, requiring further development. But even with this, the future of offshore windpower looks bright, and many countries have already begun investing in to it, such as the gargantuan 630MW London array in the United Kingdom, the 600 MW Viking wind farm in Scotland, and the 400 MW Anholt windfarm in Denmark.

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