According to a new report from the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA), “Deep Water, the next step for offshore energy,” deep water wind turbines are key to unlocking the massive energy potential in Europe’s Atlantic and Mediterranean seas and the deepest parts of the North Sea.
The report finds that floating turbines in North Sea deep waters alone could power Europe four times over. Offshore wind in Europe could be providing 145 million households with renewable electricity and employing 318,000 people by 2030, while providing energy security, technology exports, and no greenhouse gases.
“To allow this sector to realise its potential and deliver major benefits for Europe, a clear and stable legislative framework for after 2020 – based on a binding 2030 renewable energy target – is vital. This must be backed by an industrial strategy for offshore wind including support for R&D,” said Jacopo Moccia, Head of Policy Analysis at EWEA.
The report found that floating turbine designs are cost-competitive with fixed-bottom designs in waters over 50 metres deep and if challenges are successfully met, the first full-scale deep offshore wind farms could be producing power by 2017 up from the up from the two floating turbines currently supplying electricity from European waters.