Winds of Technical Advancements to take Offshore Wind Energy in U.S. towards Maturity

Published Date : Mar 31, 2016

Offshore wind energy possesses immense potential in transforming the overall power production scenario of the globe. The lengthy coastlines of several countries have abundant, consistent, and strong winds, which if harnessed properly, can easily generate enough energy to suffice the overall power requirements of many of these countries. Offshore wind energy in the U.S. has the potential of meeting the overall electricity requirements of the country four times over. In Europe, offshore wind energy sources can meet the electricity demands of the region seven times over.

As offshore wind power generation is a relatively new technology, the costs are currently high and the field also faces several challenges related to installation of turbines, operation in deep waters, grid interconnections, and maintenance. The prices of power generation from offshore wind energy sources are also quite high currently. However, as technologies advance and more efforts are put in the development of robust equipment that will suit the special operating environments of offshore wind power generation sites, the prices are sure to come down and production capabilities will sufficiently rise. These factors will easily make this renewable, zero-emission and cleaner power generation method a larger part of the global energy mix.

Currently, Europe leads the market, accounting for over 91% of the world’s total installed capacity of offshore wind power. As such, offshore wind makes for an essential component of Europe’s targets of sourcing at least 20% of the region’s overall power consumption from renewable sources.

Another prominent region that has been making bold moves in its attempts to make offshore wind power a mature industry is North America. U.S. in North America, especially, has come ahead as a favorable investment grounds for offshore wind power projects in the past few years. The U.S. government has been playing an active role in realistically developing the offshore wind energy sector, lauding research and development activities aimed at advances in the field through vast funds.

Owing to the favorable scenario for research and development in the offshore wind power sector, several technological advancements have been featured in the U.S. market in the past years, including equipment especially made for deep water sites.