Offshore wind farms are a rarity even in terms of wind power generation. As of now, only 1% of the total wind power generated comes from offshore wind farms. Considering the technical and financial challenges associated with such projects, all of this seems to be quite natural, but the UK is betting heavily against the odds in hoping that such farms will be viable, and that on a gigantic scale. The country has approved proposals for the world’s largest offshore wind farms, which it hopes will generate up to 32 gigawatts of energy.
This should be enough to meet a quarter of the UK’s projected electricity needs by 2020. Also, the projects will help the country get a jump start on the wind energy sector, where it ranks very low. Winners of the Round 3 tender include Portugal’s EDP Renewables, Britain’s Centrica, Germany’s E.ON and Sweden’s Vattenfall.
The huge project is expected to make UK the biggest market for offshore wind development, and also create 70,000 jobs by 2020. Development costs can create a problem for these projects, but it is hoped that with the development of new technology, the costs will fall.