A new report from the EWEA, the European Wind Energy Association argues that the energy produced from wind turbines in deep waters in the North Sea alone could more than meet the electricity consumption needs of the European Union.
The report ‘Deep Water: the next step for offshore wind energy’ was drafted by the Deep offshore and new foundation concepts’ Task Force of the EWEA.
It shows that deep water wind turbines are key to unlocking the massive energy potential in Europe’s Atlantic and Mediterranean seas and the deepest parts of the North Sea, as “the energy produced from turbines in deep waters in the North Sea alone could meet the EU’s electricity consumption four times over”. Offshore wind in Europe could be providing 145 million households with renewable electricity and employing 318,000 people by 2030, while providing energy security, technology exports, and no greenhouse gases.
Currently only two floating turbines are supplying electricity from European waters, one in the North Sea and one in the Atlantic.
In order to harvest offshore wind potential, however, “a supportive legislative framework is needed, and new offshore designs must be developed for deep water”, as the current commercial substructures are limited to maximum water depths of only 40m to 50m.
If the challenges are overcome, the first deep offshore wind farms could be installed and grid connected by 2017, concludes the study.
For more on electricity from wind, read Aphaia’s report from Whitelee Wind Farm near Glasgow.
Read this article in Slovene