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Energy Blog Floating Wind Turbines

Floating Wind Turbines

Chris Hurcombe
by Chris Hurcombe April 25, 2012

Britain’s energy secretary Ed Davey and his American counterpart Steven Chu are set to announce a joint venture between Britain and the US to accelerate the development of new floating wind turbines technology.

Floating offshore wind turbines should provide the cost effectiveness the “Wind Industry” needs to gain recognition amongst investors and establish itself as a leading renewable energy resource for Britain and other countries around the world.

Traditional offshore wind farms must be located in waters less than 200 feet deep. Studies revealed that wind speeds are consistently stronger above deeper waters.

Floating wind turbines will enable the possibility to tap into winds that are located in deeper waters. Not to mention that once the technology is fully deployed such turbines should cost a lot less than their conventional siblings.

Speaking on the matter, Ed Davey said: “Turbines will be able to locate in ever deeper waters where the wind is stronger but without the expense of foundation down to the seabed or having to undertake major repairs out at sea,”

The technology is not far off since there are reports that Portugal is working on a floating turbine for the Atlantic while Norway seems to be ahead of the pack with a prototype already floating on the North Sea.

Despite not having deployed this new technology yet, Britain is a reference for the worldwide wind industry since it has more wind turbines installed around its shores than any other country in the world and our market is rated year after year as the most attractive market among investors.

To top things up, Britain has roughly one-third of the potential sites for offshore wind farms in Europe, which is more than any other nation.

This new agreement between Britain and the US to accelerate the development of floating wind turbines is part of the American-British Memorandum of Understanding on ‘Collaboration in Energy Related Fields’ covering many different forms of power generation but including low carbon technologies to combat climate change, energy transmission and distribution and energy efficiency.

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