The world currently has 175 wind farms in operation or the advanced planning stages. California has nearly 2,000 wind turbines generating about 8% of its electricity with plans to reach 50% from solar, wind, and other renewable resources by 2030.
Offshore wind farms have attracted their share of controversies, including being deadly obstacle courses for seabirds and jamming devices for communications between sea mammals. But the present and future appears to be full of renewable energy projects that will be integrated into national grids around the world.
The major impetus is twofold: first, is the sustainability of clean energy, and second, the unsubsidized cost of roughly 6 cents per kilowatt hour (kwh) which is comparable, if not cheaper, than coal-fired power generation but still more expensive than natural gas.
So compelling is wind energy that Trident Winds, a company without any prior experience in the industry, is planning a new offshore wind farm with 100 floating turbines, each 636 feet tall, off the coast of California’s Morro Bay near Hearst Castle.
Following is a primer on offshore wind farms by Siemens: