Offshore Wind Power: A Photo Gallery

The building of wind farms often comes with a certain amount of controversy. Although wind energy is clean, and construction of wind farms generates jobs, many people feel that living near a wind farm is less than ideal. Criticism ranges from the noise of the turbines to the potential hazard the spinning blades pose to birds, to the marring of scenery. Steady winds are also not always consistent on land, as they can be blocked by hills, trees, and buildings. Recently, the development of offshore wind power has been explored as an alternative to wind farms on land.

Image via hornsrev.dk

Offshore wind farms are large turbines built in open water, where the wind is more constant and the turbines pose less of an intrusion on people. Marine habitats, of course, must still be taken into consideration. Because of the generally higher wind speeds over water, offshore wind farms can generate much more electricity than their land-lubbing cousins. Of course, technological innovation is a must as developers contend with the challenges of building underwater.

There are currently several methods of constructing offshore turbines, and many more concepts are being tested. As of now, most of the offshore wind farms are located in Europe, with some of the largest offshore farms situated around the North Sea. Great Britain is leading in offshore wind development, with countries like Germany and Denmark following closely. In the US, debate still rages about offshore wind. Proposed wind farms in the Northeast, in areas like Rhode Island and Cape Cod, Mass., have run into opposition time and again, but it seems that offshore wind has a bright future. Check out some of the offshore wind farms in this week’s photo gallery by clicking on a picture below.

Laura Caseley is a graduate of SUNY New Paltz and a resident of New York State’s Hudson Valley. She writes for several publications and when she’s not writing, she can usually be found painting in her makeshift studio or enjoying the scenery of her hometown.

2 Comments

  • Reply September 6, 2011

    Valerie

    Currently, there are many challenges for offshore wind turbines being discussed. nHere is a link leading to some useful content about drivetrain technology http://bit.ly/ohbyG0

  • Reply October 18, 2011

    John Smith

    Let’s keep them out of the way of hurricanes though.u00a0 I’m sure with the blades folded or set to neutral they are resistant to most severe winds, though I wonder for how long.u00a0 A hurricane can take hours or even days to pass.

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