wind energy is now recognized as an immense renewable energy resource.
Offshore wind farms are already operating in the UK, North Sea and Germany.
Most of the major wind turbine makers are building offshore models. The Minerals Management
Service has a good introductory page about
offshore wind and potential regulation.
best links and small pictures are in the
Peswiki Offshore Wind Directory. Here is a wonderful
Photo album with links to offshore projects.
Good introductory presentations are available for download
from the 2007
Offshore Wind Conference.
US Offshore Wind
Collaborative is a network and policy organization and has various reports to
Offshore Wind Energy Network (OWEN) promotes research on all
issues connected with development of the UK's offshore wind
resource and has the best
library of reports and presentations.
The POWER project in Europe has the best page
links to offshore wind projects and research in that region.
Energy Institute is proposing a giant floating wind farm in
the Gulf on Maine.
Vestas Wind has made several
excellent short documentaries about the
North Hoyle and Horns Reef offshore wind projects.
Search YouTube for more
videos of offshore wind projects.
The size of turbines is
increasing. Clipper Windpower is building the
7.5 MW offshore wind turbine in the UK. The
demonstration project has 5 MW turbines in 150 feet depth.
In the USA
the Cape Wind project is
the most advanced though not yet built.
These sites are "portals" to project info about
OffshoreWind.Net (North American info);
Energy (European focus).
International Energy Agency
has a global wind development coordination process with much good information.
wind turbines are usually monopoles inserted into the seabed. They are big
enough to be easily seen and avoided by everything, including birds and whales.
They can be removed completely. The economics depend highly on scale -
bigger projects have more long-term value.
Here are good quick introductions to offshore
Floating wind turbines may be the ultimate evolution of this technology. Designs are already underway and
experimentation will reveal which design is most effective.
Statoil, the national oil company of Norway, is going
to build a floating spar-buoy offshore wind farm called
HyWind, see image below.
Sway company of Norway has advanced this concept the furthest (below right)
with a downwind-propeller turbine. The
National Renewable Energy
Laboratory of the US Dept. of Energy has an
offshore wind research program
(lower left) with publications explaining the technology and markets.