Offshore Wind Farm Advantages

Advantages of Offshore Wind Farms - A Viable Future Option

Harnessing wind energy to fulfill power requirements is the latest to hit the alternative power bandwagon. Let's take a look at the various offshore wind farms advantages that make it a promising power generation option for the future.
Before we get to the details of offshore wind farms advantages, let's first understand what a wind farm is, followed by a brief introduction to an offshore wind farm as opposed to an onshore one. You must have heard about wind power - power generated by converting wind energy into electrical and mechanical energy through the use of wind turbines and windmills respectively. A wind farm is a specific area that has a number of wind turbines located within its confines. Each turbine is connected to a voltage collection system of medium power, hovering around 34.5 kV. A communications network is also connected to each turbine.

The voltage is raised at a substation by making use of transformers in order for connection to a transmission system that requires high voltage. An offshore wind farm is one that is built in coastal waters with the heads of the turbines jutting out of the marine surface. In contrast, onshore wind farms are built on upon land and are located well within the confines of continental shores. Now, going back to the subject of the titular subject of this article, let's take a quick look at some of the greatest offshore wind farms advantages.

Offshore Wind Energy Benefits
  • Since wind currents are stronger over the large expanse of the marine surface, more power is generated by offshore wind farms as compared to onshore wind farms.
  • Onshore wind farms often pose a risk to birds and other avians who get caught in the turbines and die a violent death. In contrast, the relatively less populated skies over the oceans and seas ensures that the turbines work without posing as great a risk to the avians there.
  • Onshore wind farms are often subject to criticisms regarding noise pollution, especially by people who reside in areas surrounding the inland farms. In contrast, offshore wind farms invite no such complaints as residential areas in close earshot is quite rare!
  • There is very little to no obstruction of landscape scenery when it comes to setting up wind turbines offshore, unlike onshore wind turbines that obstruct the visual bounties of scenic landscapes.
  • A lot of natural resources are spared from displacement or elimination when wind farms are set up offshore. Trees don't need to be cut and mountains don't need blowing up to make room for installing wind turbines in oceanic waters, which is not the case when it come to setting up wind farms onshore.
  • Since there are no natural or man-made structure in and around coast lines significant enough to obstruct wind currents, offshore wind farms work more efficiently and generate more power than their onshore counterparts.
  • Contrary to a lot of speculation and negative publicity meted out to offshore wind farming citing dangers to marine life, no significant harm has been recorded till date. Also, the damage to environment and other life forms is way low than lower in case of offshore wind turbines when compared to onshore wind turbines.
Keeping in line with these advantages of offshore wind farming, there are, at present, thirteen countries that have a number of offshore wind farms up and running along their coastal waters. These countries are Canada, China, Denmark, Germany, India, Japan, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Netherlands, Norway, the United States and the United Kingdom. A decent number of wind farms have been proposed, some of which are already under construction, all over the world.

If official statistics are to be believed, if sufficient number of offshore wind farms, as is being proposed, are set up to harness wind power optimally, the wind energy so generated will be effectively able to take care of as much as 60% of the global fuel requirement. If solar power and hydroelectricity sources and generation methods are also simultaneously developed to an optimal extent, there might actually be no need for the conventional fuel and power sources about a couple of centuries down the line!