Utilization of Renewable Energy for Power Generation to Have a Positive Impact on Offshore Wind Energy

Offshore Wind Energy

Several industries across the globe such as oil and gas, chemical, and transportation, among others, are dependent on fossil fuels for electricity/power generation. Although these fuels are very effective, they are subjected to depletion in the long run. Moreover, these fossil fuels are the origin of greenhouse gases which further lead to global warming. Thus, the shift from fossil fuels to the renewable sources of energy and the development of clean energy are of utmost importance for effectively dealing with climate change and its effects. This shift would also address the growing electricity demand across the globe. As per the data by International Energy Agency (IEA), the world electricity demand will increase by 70% by 2040 due to the emerging economies of India, China, Africa, the Middle East, and South-East Asia. Moreover, more than 17% of the global population does not have access to electricity, and the majority of the population uses conventional sources for heating and lighting purposes.

Wind energy is considered as the most efficient energy of all the renewable energies available globally. This is because it does not emit toxic substances and wastes and do not contaminate air or water. Wind farms can be based onshore (on land) or offshore (sea or freshwater). As per the data by the World Wind Energy Association (WWEA), 80 countries across the globe are already using wind power on a commercial basis, wherein prominent countries, such as the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. are ranked first, second and eighth, respectively in terms of installed capacity (both onshore and offshore).

Offshore wind power, i.e. the kinetic energy of the wind, is one of the sources of clean and renewable electricity/power for countries across the globe. The offshore wind power involves using energy from wind turbine to generate electricity. Wind farms are constructed off the coasts, usually on the continental shelf to produce the wind energy for electricity generation. The offshore wind energy technology has attained considerable growth in a very short span of time, but there is clearly much development expected in terms of technological advancement. Increase in investments by governments, especially in the developing countries, such as China and India, rapid urbanization, and rising demand for clean and renewable energy, are expected to support the market growth of offshore wind energy.

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Offshore wind turbines prove to be more competent than onshore wind turbines due to the more consistent wind speed and direction. Due to this, less number of turbines are required to be installed to generate the same amount of electricity as compared to onshore turbines. Moreover, offshore wind turbines do not interfere with regular land use. These prove to be advantageous with high energy potentials associated with the large areas and the stronger winds. Offshore wind infers better power generation; however, they have higher initial investment, operation, and maintenance costs. Although the fundamentals of technology are the same in both onshore and offshore, the offshore wind technology is expected to witness more advancements than the onshore technology.

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