• 5 mins EIA Weekly Inventory Data Due Wednesday, Despite Govt. Shutdown
  • 4 hours Oklahoma Rig Explodes, Leaving Five Missing
  • 6 hours Lloyd’s Sees No Room For Coal In New Investment Strategy
  • 9 hours Gunmen Kidnap Nigerian Oil Workers In Oil-Rich Delta Area
  • 11 hours Libya’s NOC Restarts Oil Fields
  • 12 hours US Orion To Develop Gas Field In Iraq
  • 3 days U.S. On Track To Unseat Saudi Arabia As No.2 Oil Producer In the World
  • 3 days Senior Interior Dept. Official Says Florida Still On Trump’s Draft Drilling Plan
  • 3 days Schlumberger Optimistic In 2018 For Oilfield Services Businesses
  • 3 days Only 1/3 Of Oil Patch Jobs To Return To Canada After Downturn Ends
  • 3 days Statoil, YPF Finalize Joint Vaca Muerta Development Deal
  • 3 days TransCanada Boasts Long-Term Commitments For Keystone XL
  • 4 days Nigeria Files Suit Against JP Morgan Over Oil Field Sale
  • 4 days Chinese Oil Ships Found Violating UN Sanctions On North Korea
  • 4 days Oil Slick From Iranian Tanker Explosion Is Now The Size Of Paris
  • 4 days Nigeria Approves Petroleum Industry Bill After 17 Long Years
  • 4 days Venezuelan Output Drops To 28-Year Low In 2017
  • 4 days OPEC Revises Up Non-OPEC Production Estimates For 2018
  • 4 days Iraq Ready To Sign Deal With BP For Kirkuk Fields
  • 5 days Kinder Morgan Delays Trans Mountain Launch Again
  • 5 days Shell Inks Another Solar Deal
  • 5 days API Reports Seventh Large Crude Draw In Seven Weeks
  • 5 days Maduro’s Advisors Recommend Selling Petro At Steep 60% Discount
  • 5 days EIA: Shale Oil Output To Rise By 1.8 Million Bpd Through Q1 2019
  • 5 days IEA: Don’t Expect Much Oil From Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Before 2030
  • 5 days Minister Says Norway Must Prepare For Arctic Oil Race With Russia
  • 5 days Eight Years Late—UK Hinkley Point C To Be In Service By 2025
  • 5 days Sunk Iranian Oil Tanker Leave Behind Two Slicks
  • 6 days Saudi Arabia Shuns UBS, BofA As Aramco IPO Coordinators
  • 6 days WCS-WTI Spread Narrows As Exports-By-Rail Pick Up
  • 6 days Norway Grants Record 75 New Offshore Exploration Leases
  • 6 days China’s Growing Appetite For Renewables
  • 6 days Chevron To Resume Drilling In Kurdistan
  • 6 days India Boosts Oil, Gas Resource Estimate Ahead Of Bidding Round
  • 6 days India’s Reliance Boosts Export Refinery Capacity By 30%
  • 7 days Nigeria Among Worst Performers In Electricity Supply
  • 7 days ELN Attacks Another Colombian Pipeline As Ceasefire Ceases
  • 7 days Shell Buys 43.8% Stake In Silicon Ranch Solar
  • 7 days Saudis To Award Nuclear Power Contracts In December
  • 7 days Shell Approves Its First North Sea Oil Project In Six Years
Alt Text

Overcoming Wind Energy’s Biggest Obstacle

New research suggests that smaller,…

Alt Text

Microsoft, Google Turn To Wind Energy

Wind major Vattenfall has just…

Gregory Brew

Gregory Brew

Gregory Brew is a researcher and analyst based in Washington D.C. He is currently pursuing a PhD at Georgetown University in oil history and American…

More Info

Can Deep Water Wind Farms Power The World?

Wind

Far out to sea, amid the crashing waves of the North Atlantic, there’s a fortune to be made. According to new research, deep water wind farms could produce enough energy to meet all existing and future electricity demand, if properly harnessed.

In a study published on October 9 by researchers at the Carnegie Institution for Science and Stanford University, it’s estimated that deep water offshore turbines could produce three to five times as much energy as land-based turbines, due to the higher speeds and consistent force of the wind at sea.

One ‘small’ wind farm, covering 70 thousand square kilometers, could provide enough electricity to power the entire United States for ten years, according to the study.

A major factor in generating wind power is the movement of energy from higher in the atmosphere to the surface, where the turbines can transform it into electricity. The researchers found that land-based turbines are limited by the movement of atmosphere over land, which tends to be slowed down by the turbines and other impediments, such as buildings, trees or geographic features.

But this is less of a factor in deep water, where the ocean releases fantastic amounts of heat, particularly during the winter. With fewer impediments, atmospheric movement tends to be much more intense, allowing turbines to capture more energy with greater reliability. Related: India’s Urban Explosion Boosts Oil Demand

The researchers concluded that constructing deep water wind farms would not measurably slow the movement of this energy. While energy production in the winter months of the North Atlantic would be high, the researchers concluded that significantly less energy would be produced during the summer.

At the moment, these findings are necessarily speculative. Construction of deep water wind turbines, most notably floating turbines that don’t need to be fixed to the ocean floor, is in its early stages. Limitations to the technology remain considerable, as no one has yet determined how the energy produced from deep water turbines would be transmitted to shore, except via transmission lines.

One farm, the Hywind Scotland pilot project, consists of five turbines twenty-five kilometers off the coast of Scotland, capable of generating 30 MW of power. Hywind was partially funded by Norwegian oil company Statoil, which which hopes to use it to demonstrate the feasibility of deep water wind technology. Once complete in late 2017, Hywind will demonstrate the capabilities of deep water wind technology for the first time and produce enough power for around 20,000 homes.

Another deep water wind farm is planned at Dogger Bank by Statoil and British firm SSE. The project includes three separate facilities, and is capable of producing 1.2 GW of power. The farms will be located between 125 and 195 kilometers from the coast.

Offshore wind is a major factor in European energy, but has yet to make much of a splash in the United States. Compared to 3600 European turbines capable of producing 12.6 GW, the U.S. boasts only a handful of offshore projects, most of which are still being developed.

The global offshore industry was worth $20.3 billion in 2016 and is expected to grow to $57.2 billion by 2022, according to a report from Zion Market Research. Declining costs made the formerly prohibitively expensive offshore wind a much more affordable proposition—costs have fallen 32 percent over the past five years. Related: Russia And China Continue To Boost Oil Ties

Most of the new growth in wind won’t come from Europe or the U.S., but from China, which is set to increase offshore wind capacity fourfold by 2020.

Yet there’s potential for the United States to harness offshore wind, and estimates indicate near-shore turbines could produce as much as 1600 GW if the full capacity was harnessed.

Substantial challenges remain for developing offshore or deep water wind energy. Expertise is in short supply, as few companies possess the means to manage such complex projects. Based on the success of projects on the U.S. East Coast and in Europe, however, it’s possible that offshore wind will be aggressively developed, particularly now that renewable energy continues to grow as a major source for global energy demand.

By Gregory Brew for Oilprice.com

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:




Back to homepage


Leave a comment
  • Coffeeguyzz on October 12 2017 said:
    Ain't gonna happen off the US, Mr. Brew.

    The massive build out of CCGT plants in the northeast combined with the growth of these power generators in the southeast will ensure a formidable competitor for cheap electricity to the offshore whirley boys.
    Huge, economical supply of fuel from the Appalachian Basin will provide a daunting contrast to the $100/Mwh utilities will need to pay to the whale-killing suppliers.
    You do realize, Mr. Brew, that recent studies on Infra sound by the Max Planck Institute, amongst others, will be fodder for endless litigation by opponents of these projects.
    Hydrawind's floating turbines have three point moorings, along with an extremely complex transmission line.
    These aspects will be contested by fishing interests, tourist industries, as well as competing sources of power generation.

    The template that anti fossil fuel opponents have employed in their fight against hydrocarbon development is about to be turned against renewable processes.
    It should be interesting to see how it plays out, but I think the offshore wind industry - in the US, at least - will prove to be stillborn.

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News