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Difference between revisions of "Offshore Wind Farms"

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=Background=
 
=Background=
Offshore Wind Farms use the power of the never-ending ocean breezes to create green, renewable, and efficient electrical energy.<ref name= eesi/> While found mostly off the European coasts they have begun to gain in popularity and have started to appear around the world. For example the United States has just begun multiple projects in order to to bring them into the forefront of the energy game. This might come as a surprise considering the amount of wind turbines that can be found onshore but the price of constructing offshore wind farms is what has kept them from being built in the past. However like stated before several have been built in Europe as well as a handful in Asia. Their burgeoning popularity has been linked to the success in their application as well as the benefits that have been associated with them. Some of these include the fact that they can not only fulfill energy goals thus reducing our need to use other costly (and environmentally detrimental) methods but they can do this while reducing greenhouse emissions which leads to a slow down of the climate change we are experiencing world wide.<ref name= eesi>http://www.eesi.org/files/offshore_wind_101310.pdf</ref>
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Offshore Wind Farms use the power of the never-ending ocean breezes to create green, renewable, and efficient electrical energy.<ref name= eesi/> While found mostly off the European coasts they have begun to gain in popularity and have started to appear around the world. For example the United States has just begun multiple projects in order to to bring them into the forefront of the energy game. This might come as a surprise considering the amount of wind turbines found onshore but the price of constructing offshore wind farms is what has kept them from being built in the past. However like stated before several have been built in Europe as well as a handful in Asia. Their burgeoning popularity has been linked to the success in their application as well as the benefits that have been associated with them. Some of these include the fact that they can not only fulfill energy goals thus reducing our need to use other costly (and environmentally detrimental) methods but they can do this while reducing greenhouse emissions which leads to a slow down of the climate change we are experiencing world wide.<ref name= eesi>http://www.eesi.org/files/offshore_wind_101310.pdf</ref>
  
 
[[File:Sheringham Shoal Wind Farm 2012.jpg|thumb|500px|center|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Sheringham_Shoal_Wind_Farm_2012.jpg]]
 
[[File:Sheringham Shoal Wind Farm 2012.jpg|thumb|500px|center|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Sheringham_Shoal_Wind_Farm_2012.jpg]]
 
  
 
=How It Works=
 
=How It Works=

Revision as of 17:01, 9 April 2014

Background

Offshore Wind Farms use the power of the never-ending ocean breezes to create green, renewable, and efficient electrical energy.[1] While found mostly off the European coasts they have begun to gain in popularity and have started to appear around the world. For example the United States has just begun multiple projects in order to to bring them into the forefront of the energy game. This might come as a surprise considering the amount of wind turbines found onshore but the price of constructing offshore wind farms is what has kept them from being built in the past. However like stated before several have been built in Europe as well as a handful in Asia. Their burgeoning popularity has been linked to the success in their application as well as the benefits that have been associated with them. Some of these include the fact that they can not only fulfill energy goals thus reducing our need to use other costly (and environmentally detrimental) methods but they can do this while reducing greenhouse emissions which leads to a slow down of the climate change we are experiencing world wide.[1]

How It Works

Wind is of course the key factor that makes these turbines come alive. The location of the ocean is also an important factor as it allows for a more consistent strength of wind rather than on land. So this wind passes against the blades causing them to rotate.[1] Sensors within the turbine move the head of the machine to the area with the most optimum wind velocity. The blades subsequent rotations create power which is then gathered by a generator. This generator then converts the rotations into electricity. From there this electricity is transmitted back to land via subsea cables. [2] Each unit can last up to 20 years.[1] Of course the amount of energy generate depends on a number factors. This can be the speed of the wind, the size of the unit, etc.[1] Overall these wind turbines stand roughly 246 feet above the sea level. [2]

Where they are being used

Europe

Multiple European countries have begun to adopt the technology. The first was Denmark back in 1991 [3] Since then there offshore wind power has been developed in Belgium, Finland, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. [1] As time goes on other European countries will continue to develop them. Currently offshore wind farms supply 11.4 percent of the EU's electricity. [4] Many reasons could be made as to why Europe has a large amount of Wind Power as compared to the rest of the world, (the United States in particular) however large factor could be this: even though the costs of offshore wind farms is extremely high the public still supports it. [5]

Asia

The Pros and Cons

Pros

Wind Turbines have numerous pros associated with them. They range from the obvious to the lesser known. First we have the increase in green, renewable, local energy. This is a plus in all rings no matter which we look at. If we have energy coming in from the Wind Turbines, we rely less on other forms of energy. Some of these are less than attractive on the landscape. The less of these we are forced to rely on the more our country is beautified. Recent research has also shown that the Offshore Wind Farms can also serve as storm breaks helping lessen the impacts of natural disasters such as hurricanes.

Cons

The biggest con is of course the price. Compared to other forms of energy the costs are high. This is including On Shore Wind Farms. This might be one reason that in the United States we have a large amount of On Shore farms but no Offshore; even though the amount of energy produced is far greater.