The demand for global energy is projected to keep increasing at a compound annual growth rate of 21% per year until 2021. In this worldwide quest for more renewable energy, offshore wind power stands as the future of the sector by producing 40% higher output than its onshore counterpart due to the abundance of space and greater, consistent wind resources. As the pioneer in offshore wind power, the EU has experienced huge offshore wind power expansion in recent years. 3,230 turbines are now installed and grid-connected in 11 countries, for a cumulative total of 11,027 MW. Currently, the US came onboard with its first offshore wind farm off Rhode Island in 2016.
Technology: Offshore Wind Turbine
- Offshore wind speeds tend to be faster than on land. Small increases in wind speed yield large increases in energy production: a turbine in a 15-mph wind can generate twice as much energy as a turbine in a 12-mph wind. Faster wind speeds offshore mean much more energy can be generated.
- Many coastal areas have very high energy needs. 53% of the United States’ population lives in coastal areas, with concentrations in major coastal cities. Building offshore wind farms in these areas can help to meet those energy needs from nearby sources.
- Offshore wind farms have significantly smaller negative impact on aesthetics of the landscape compared to wind farms on land because most offshore wind farms are not visible from shore.
- However, offshore wind farm remains very expensive to construct, maintain, and deliver energy back onshore
- Department of Energy
- Regional Utility Companies
- Local Government
- Conduct a comprehensive study of offshore wind energy, select offshore locations with greatest wind potential and lowest environmental impact possible
- Review existing regulation with regard to offshore project
- Planning and Design
- Form public-private-partnership between utility company and the local government