Fossil fuel combustion is no longer an option in a world influenced by climate change. Thankfully, nature provides several opportunities for clean, renewable energy. One is the ocean.
FREMONT, CA: Wind farms are the most common type of offshore renewable energy today, and they have numerous advantages over land-based wind farms:
• The wind is stronger and faster in the ocean.
• There is a reduction in visual impact and noise levels.
• They might be larger at sea, which means they capture more energy.
• They have a negligible effect on the ocean's ecosystems.
The turbine blades spin when the wind blows. The blades are attached to several devices that speed up the spin. After that, the energy is transported to a generator.
The generator converts kinetic energy to electrical energy. The power is then routed to a substation, where the wind farm's generated electricity is gathered. A transformer will increase the voltage, and the electricity will be distributed to onshore homes.
Wind farms are susceptible to severe weather events such as hurricanes and storms. Offshore wind energy helps mitigate climate change. However, one of the most significant issues is that infrastructure construction and maintenance continue to be prohibitively expensive.
European engineers are currently developing solutions, and the sector is already seeing cost savings.
How about the ocean? Waves contain a great deal of energy, and numerous organizations worldwide are investigating ways to harness it.
For instance, among them is AW-Energy Oy. This business invented the WaveRoller, a device that transforms ocean wave energy to electricity hundreds of meters from the coast and hundreds of meters below the sea's surface.
The greater the size of the wave, the stronger it is. However, the amount of energy generated depends on the speed, length, and force of the wind pushing it.
Despite its numerous advantages, this technology has not yet gained widespread adoption. Researchers are still examining ways to make it a viable and economical option.
Tidal energy is one of the renewable energy sources that are underutilized. Additionally, it comes with a slew of benefits.
The moon's gravitational forces strongly influence tides, which are regulated by their cycles. This means they are more predictable than wind and sun, thus forecasting the amount of electricity generated in advance. Unlike other offshore renewable energy sources, they operate even when there is no wind or sun.
Tidal energy is produced by locating tidal energy generators—underwater turbines—in areas with strong tidal motions. The blades revolve due to the movement of the water. This propulsion propels the generator, which generates electricity and is transmitted to the shore via power cables.
Due to the extreme conditions found in the ocean, these devices can be difficult to install and maintain, all the more so when they are inexpensive. Recent technological advancements, on the other hand, make this possible. Furthermore, several European countries, including France and the United Kingdom, have already adopted this technology.
Currently, approximately 2 percent of Europe's electricity is generated at sea. Nonetheless, the region leads the world in offshore renewable energy.
By 2050, the EU hopes to become the first climate-neutral continent, and offshore renewables will be the primary energy source.
This is why the European Commission has embarked on an audacious plan.
By 2030, Europe's offshore wind capacity will double to 60 GW, from 12 GW today. And by 2050, it will reach 300 GW, a 25-fold increase over today. Additionally, the EU has committed to increasing its investment in ocean energy and other developing technologies.
Nearly €800 billion will be required to accomplish these goals. The majority of that will have to come from private capital.