Definition: Offshore Wind
Wind turbine installations built near-shore or further offshore on coastlines for commercial electricity generation.
- Offshore wind power or offshore wind energy is the use of wind farms constructed offshore, usually on the continental shelf, to harvest wind energy to generate electricity. Stronger wind speeds are available offshore compared to on land, so offshore wind power’s contribution in terms of electricity supplied is higher, and NIMBY opposition to construction is usually much weaker. However, offshore wind farms are relatively expensive. At the end of 2014, 3,230 turbines at 84 offshore wind farms across 11 European countries had been installed and grid-connected, making a total capacity of 11,027 MW.As of 2010 Siemens and Vestas were turbine suppliers for 90% of offshore wind power, while Dong Energy, Vattenfall and E.on were the leading offshore operators. As of 1 January 2016, about 12 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind power capacity was operational, mainly in Northern Europe, with 3,755 MW of that coming online during 2015. According to BTM Consult, more than 16 GW of additional capacity will be installed before the end of 2014 and the United Kingdom and Germany will become the two leading markets. Offshore wind power capacity is expected to reach a total of 75 GW worldwide by 2020, with significant contributions from China and the United States.As of 2013 the 630 megawatt (MW) London Array is the largest offshore wind farm in the world, with the 504 (MW) Greater Gabbard wind farm the second largest, followed by the 367 MW Walney Wind Farm. All are off the coast of the UK. These projects will be dwarfed by subsequent wind farms that are in the pipeline, including Dogger Bank at 4,800 MW, Norfolk Bank (7,200 MW), and Irish Sea (4,200 MW). At the end of June 2013 total European combined offshore wind energy capacity was 6,040 MW. UK installed 513.5 MW offshore windpower in the first half year of 2013.
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