Floating wind turbines can access deeper waters that the usual fixed offshore ones. There the wind speeds are greater and more consistent. It opens the door to even greater efficiency and cost reductions. America’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has summarised a webinar by their Offshore Wind Research Platform Lead, Walt Musial. Other main take-aways include: floating platforms have long been engineered and proven by the oil and gas industry; wind turbine technology and supply chain costs are already falling; 80% of the U.S. population lives near a coast or great lake, making transmission easier. Currently only around 80MW of the total 30GW of global offshore wind capacity is floating, so there’s still plenty to do and next generation design and modelling is underway. Musial is convinced another pathway is being opened up to increase the electricity generation mix at prices we can all afford.
Energy Post 22nd April 2020 read more »