Offshore Wind Farms

Offshore Wind Farms

In recent years, there’s been a lot reported about in the media about renewable energy sources, and many are quite commonly known. The usual green energy sources include land-based wind farms, solar power, geothermal, hydroelectric power, nuclear and wave and tidal power. It is hoped, that for the sake of the future, these power sources can overtake and replace the current fossil fuel based energies, which are running low on resources, as well as heavily polluting the planet.

One renewable energy source that isn’t too well known is offshore-based wind farms. The first offshore wind farm was built in Denmark in 1991, and currently there are around 40 of these worldwide. A majority of these are in Europe, with China unveiling theirs in July 2010.

Offshore wind farms have a lot going for them, in terms of being a renewable energy source. For a start, the winds over the seas are often more steady then on the land, and don’t require being placed too far away from the mainland. This means a steady supply of power going through transmission lines that aren’t overly long and can avoid becoming clogged. The wind turbines are connected to the seabed, and more or less work in a similar way to those onshore.

There is no pollution caused by these sea based wind farms, which is common with fossil fuel based energies. Also, there are no toxic wastes being created, such as from nuclear power, which creates a lot of toxic waste and is capable of causing mass destruction to the area around the plant.

The U.S. has been slow to get on board with this technology, and currently there are no offshore wind farms in the U.S. This is set to change, with the Department of the Interior formalizing plans and regulations to start the leasing of seabed’s to companies planning on making use of the offshore winds. The first project on the cards is the Cape Wind project in Massachusetts, which hopes to lead the way and be a start in the changes needed.

While there will be much debate about this, it is highly unlikely these forms of renewable energies will be going away.

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