Powered by a Sea Breeze: Wind turbines at sea
March 15, 2017
Energy is heading seaside as companies search for more efficient ways to produce power. This renewable energy resource comes from wind at sea. Developers have been building wind turbines out at sea and the technology has become increasingly cheaper over the years, coming down 22 percent in the last year and 46 percent in the last five years, according to an article from bloomberg.com.
This is a resource currently being utilized in Europe, but the renewable energy industry has set sights for the United States who have been against this technology due to costs. The article also says “… the U.S. government’s official goal for now is to install 86 gigawatts of turbines at sea by 2050.”
Power within the United States is cheaper in cost compared to Europe and this will push it to the next level. European winds blow an average 22 miles per hour, almost triple the speed on land. This potential energy makes it worthy of the billion dollar project it’s slated to be.
They don’t come without danger, however, as wind turbines in the North Sea are battered by storms and sea currents that corrode these machines. Immediate attention is not an option as companies are at the mercy of nature.
This does not deter them because they have invested $29.9 billion into this industry and expect it to grow to $115 billion by 2020. An expected drop in costs pushes the market down, making these projects more efficient.
Winds at sea tend to last for 45 percent of the year, but the commitment to batteries has solved this problem. The article states that “battery costs have fallen 40 percent since 2014.”
Auctions are being made across the world looking for areas suitable for the demanding resource. Competition has helped push this resource to the forefront of renewable energy and looks to dominate coal and nuclear power.