Offshore wind power has great potential, but the marine environment presents challenges. A new kind of wind turbine aims to overcome those obstacles.
Offshore wind power has the potential to overcome some of the biggest limitations of land-based wind power.
Wind speeds are higher, and more consistent. There’s more space available. Concerns over noise are nonexistent, and while there have been clashes over visual impact for offshore wind farms (the Cape Wind project being the most prominent example), the issue of NIMBYism ought to be greatly reduced when turbines are built where there literally are no backyards.
But there are challenges too.
A harsh marine environment
As anyone who has ever owned a boat knows, the marine environment can be harsh on any mechanical equipment. The likelihood of extreme weather is increased