Wind energy is rapidly being researched and developed around the world in an effort to stay away from the high prices of oil. As you are probably aware, the price of oil reached the unprecedented record price of $147.25 on July 11th. Since then it has subsided to lower prices due to demand destruction and stronger U.S. dollar. It would be no surprise if the price rebounds due to tensions in Iran, the Caucasus, Nigeria or a weaker dollar. Oil is a very sensitive commodity.
Normally you would see wind farms in the countryside; that is, on land. But it has become increasingly difficult to obtain the required permits for land wind farms. Therefore, energy investors had to build new wind farms offshore. The interest has been particularly directed towards coastal areas of water depths of between 16 to 49 feet.
Wind power is a clean source of energy and contributes significantly to the minimization of carbon dioxide emissions. Furthermore, offshore wind turbines provide an added environmental benefit: the electricity output from offshore installations is up to 50 percent higher than comparable turbines on land.
This is the reason why wind power is a favorite resource amongst investors and conservationists. Wind power is more developed than solar today, and a single large turbine can power 5,000 homes. For example, the Horns Rev offshore wind farm off the coast of Denmark generates enough electricity to sustain a city of 150,000 inhabitants.
In 2002, the world’s largest offshore wind farm was constructed off the Danish west coast. The Horns Rev wind farm is located 14-20 kilometers (8.8-12.5 miles) into the North Sea, west of Blåvands Huk, and represents the first phase in the Danish Government’s ambitious plan—to have wind turbines with a total capacity of 4,000 Mega Watts in Danish waters before 2030.
But wind power pales in comparison to the potential of solar power. The sunlight that reaches the Earth’s surface could produce 2,850 times the amount of energy we currently use, if effectively harnessed.
Even as we speak, I’m sure we’ll learn of more investments in solar energy in direct competition to wind energy. Either way, consumers will benefit from a cleaner energy resource and cheaper electricity rates in the near future. Fingers crossed! Good Day!