According to Statista, worldwide wind energy capacity increased to 743 GW in 2020, up from 650 GW in 2019, despite project delays caused by COVID-19. The exponential growth of wind energy installations illustrates the technology's global popularity.
FREMONT, CA: Wind turbines generate electricity when air is forced through the carbon-fibre blades attached to the machines. The blades are linked to a motor, converting kinetic energy to electrical energy. The energy is transported to a gearbox, which turns the blades' slow rotation into fast rotational action. This then accelerates the rotation of a drive shaft sufficiently to power an electric generator.
Offshore wind energy is a term that refers to wind farms that are located over shallow open water, often in the ocean, where winds are more robust. Offshore wind can also apply to coastal water areas like lakes and fjords. The majority of offshore wind farms in shallow water use fixed-foundation wind turbines. On the other side, as technology advances, wind farms will be built over deeper oceans. Offshore wind capacity will quadruple to 234 GW by 2030, according to the Global Wind Energy Council, with Asia-Pacific leading the way.
The advantages of offshore wind
Enhanced energy production: Offshore wind speeds are frequently faster than onshore wind speeds, and even small speed increases can result in considerable energy generation increases. As a result, the number of turbines required to generate the same amount of power as an onshore turbine is reduced.
Increased wind constancy: Because wind speeds and directions are minimal, offshore wind direction changes less frequently, resulting in more consistent offshore turbines.
Offshore wind turbines have a less noticeable visual impact than land-based turbines. They do not restrict land use, and no physical obstacles could obstruct wind movement. As a result, offshore wind farms may be extended to generate more electricity while leaving a smaller physical footprint than onshore wind farms.
Additional gigantic turbines: Offshore turbines can also be taller than onshore turbines, which allows for greater wind energy capture and generation.
The disadvantages of offshore wind
Cost increase: Infrastructure building for offshore wind farms can be expensive and time-consuming, much more so in deeper waters.
Maintenance and repairs: Since sea waves and strong winds can damage turbines, and they require more maintenance than onshore counterparts. Additionally, offshore wind farms are more difficult to access, resulting in more extended repair wait times.
Vibrations and visibility: Turbine noise has been shown to harm fauna and other marine life. Furthermore, not all offshore wind farms are built-in secrecy. Several are located within 26 miles of the coast and might be an eyesore for neighboring residences.
Job losses in the local area: In comparison to onshore wind farms, offshore wind farms have a limited potential to benefit local economies. Due to manufacturers' offices being located inland, usually, a considerable distance from the offshore location, local jobs and other investments are not established.
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