Floating wind turbines could create vast ocean tracts for renewable power

WION Web Team
NEW DELHI Published: Aug 30, 2021, 02:45 PM(IST)

Wind Turbines Photograph:( Getty )

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Located in the stormy waters of the North Sea, 15 miles off the coast of Aberdeenshire, in Scotland, five floating offshore wind turbines stretch 574 feet above the water

The world’s first floating wind farm, which is a 30-megawatt facility run by the Norwegian company Equinor, has been in operation since 2017 but has already broken UK records for energy output.

Located in the stormy waters of the North Sea, 15 miles off the coast of Aberdeenshire, in Scotland, five floating offshore wind turbines stretch 574 feet above the water.

Mostly, offshore wind turbines are anchored to the ocean floor on fixed foundations. This limits them to depths of about 165ft.

However, these enormous structures are assembled on land and pulled out to sea by boats.

The ability to install turbines in deeper waters, where winds tend to be stronger, leads to huge amounts of the ocean to generate renewable wind power. 

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This can be close to 80 per cent of potential offshore wind power is found in deeper waters.

Also, positioning the floating turbines much further off the coast helps avoid conflicts.

Floating offshore wind is still in its early stages as only about 80 megawatts of a total of about 32 gigawatts of installed offshore wind capacity is floating. 

However, some experts say the relatively new technology could become an important part of the renewables mix if it can overcome hurdles including cost, design and opposition from the fishing industry.

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