Offshore wind farms

The most recent wind farms are usually placed offshore, on the sea, far from the coasts, where it is possible to exploit the strong winds not delayed by obstacles. This happens on the sea surface, but also on the great lakes.
Unluckily, the realisation and maintenance costs of these offshore wind farms are more elevated than the onshore ones, because of the transportation costs, the great building problems, the difficulty to anchor their towers on the bottom and, in the end, the corrosive action of the sea water on their structures. For instance, it would be possible to work on a maximum depth of 200 meters, but usually no more than 20 m or not beyond than 20 km from the coast, to allow low costs. Anyway, these marine plants have great productivity advantages. On the sea surface, as matter of fact, winds blow without any obstacle, with a higher speed and with less changeableness. The offshore placement of great wind farms also solve the acoustic and aesthetical problems, the tower being placed beyond the line of the horizon, at least 3 km from the coast. This would solve the danger for the most part of bats and birds, migratory and birds of prey, too.
Some researchers affirm that the creation of undersea platforms and pylon and cable systems could realize, after some time, restocking and biodiversity areas on the sea bottom, like it currently happens with the anchorages of the offshore rigs. Therefore, the offshore plants represent, according to the most part of the specialists of this sector, the true future of the aeolian energy, for what concerns both the environmental problem and the production potential.
The United Kingdom and Germany own the largest number of offshore wind farms, followed by Denmark and the Netherlands. Nowadays, we may see great projects for the offshore aeolian: the United Kingdom planned to enlighten every house of the country with the wind farm offshore energy within 2020, while Canada is planning to build an offshore wind farm on the Great Lakes. The world’s largest offshore wind farm, called London Array, was built on the estuary of the Thames, with an installed power of 1 GW. This plant gives energy to 600.000 houses, thanks to 175 turbines.

Special reports

From the Multimedia section

  • energy

    Global installed wind capacity, top 10 countries, 2017

    Look

    energy

    Wind power production in Italy

    Look

    energy

    Installed wind power in Europe in 2017

    Look
  • energy

    Beaufort wind scale

    Look

    energy

    Vertical axis generator

    Look

    energy

    Blender

    Look
  • energy

    In the Flanders

    Look

    energy

    Windmill

    Look

    energy

    Share of renewable electricity sources in total electricity sector consumption (2018)

    Look
  • energy

    Global installed wind capacity, top 10 countries, 2017

    Look

    energy

    Wind power production in Italy

    Look
  • energy

    Installed wind power in Europe in 2017

    Look

    energy

    Beaufort wind scale

    Look
  • energy

    Vertical axis generator

    Look

    energy

    Blender

    Look
  • energy

    Global installed wind capacity, top 10 countries, 2017

    Look
  • energy

    Wind power production in Italy

    Look
  • energy

    Installed wind power in Europe in 2017

    Look

Facts

  • 8 July 2013

    Hywind, floating wind power turbines

    The future of wind power turbines is afloat...

    Italian offshore wind farm

    The first Italian wind farm will be installed in the waters of the Strait of Otranto...

  • 16 May 2011

    An artificial geyser

    Electric and thermal power produced from geothermal energy depend on the existence of underground infiltrations...

    A hydrogen house

    In Settimo, a municipality close to Turin, the first Unité d’Abitation has been created...

  • Hydrogen from biomass

    Hydrogen is an energy carrier that allows to generate energy in an environmentally sustainable way...

    Phyto-depuration

    A very interesting project has been carried out by Lombardy region...