The Future of Offshore Wind Farming

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As of December of 2016, there were 111 wind farms operating within the United States. There are hundreds more at work around the world, and many hundreds more in the planning and development stages.

There are a lot of reasons that offshore wind farms are becoming a more popular source for energy production.

First, offshore farms are located near where the highest demand for energy is at: along the coasts. In the United States, the majority of the population lives along either the West or East coast, both of which are prime for offshore wind farm development.

Secondly, renewable energy is becoming a necessity. Powering homes and business with traditional, fossil-fuel based energy methods is becoming more unsustainable and there are serious concerns about the impact it’s having on the environment. And finally, it’s a clean energy that’s plentiful.

If you’ve ever been out at sea, you know how hard those winds can blow. That’s all energy just waiting to be captured. 

As of December of 2016, there were 111 wind farms operating within the United States. There are hundreds more at work around the world, and many hundreds more in the planning and development stages. It appears the future is bright for wind farming. 

 

Why Wind Farming Will Continue to Grow

Within the United States, the Energy Department is working hard to promote wind energy as an energy alternative. In order to promote growth in the industry, there are a number of offshore wind energy acceleration projects currently in use and in development.

These projects include: 

  • Reducing the barriers to bring new technology and projects to the marketplace. By reducing the barriers to enter the marketplace, wind-based tech and wind farm development projects are able to move ahead faster and start supplying more of the energy demands within the United States. 

  • Supporting research into new wind energy technology and innovation. By supporting this kind of research, the Energy Department is helping get new technology to market that can make wind farming easier, cheaper, and more efficient than ever before.

 

What the Future Holds for Wind Farming

There are currently hundreds of wind farming projects in the planning stages. While that shows a lot of potential growth in the industry, it won’t all be smooth sailing.

Here is some of what the future holds for wind farming: 

  • Elevated protests. Wind farming is efficient and environmentally friendly, but it’s not without it’s detractors. Many of them are the people who will be living and working around the wind farms. Fishermen operating in the Atlantic are worried that the wind turbines will disturb their hauls and equate it with planting a turbine in the middle of a wheat field in the middle of the country. Many areas are holding meetings at the local and state level to gauge residents’ reactions to coming wind farm projects and ease their concerns. There will be more concerns voiced, but it’s unlikely that it will stop the development of the wind farms.

  • More impetus on innovation. Money, time, and effort is being poured into bringing great technology and innovation into wind farming. That’s likely to continue. Everything from wind turbine bolt protection to how turbines are moved to capture the greatest winds are going to evolve, becoming more environmentally friendly, efficient, and cost-effective. 

  • Greater reliance on wind energy. It’s likely that wind energy is going to become one of the main sources of energy within the United States, and soon. By 2050, it’s predicted that up to 30% of the world’s power will come from wind energy. With more incentives to move in that direction, that number could ramp up a lost faster than initially anticipated. 

  • More debate within the government. The passage of the Jones Act, a shipping law, says that cargo shipments between US ports have to be made on US ships; this applies to wind turbine installation, too.

Unfortunately, the United States doesn’t currently own any ships that are capable of installing wind turbines in the ocean and because of the Jones Act, the ships that are capable of installing the turbines cannot dock in the United States. That’s slowing down the wind business and delaying installation in a big way.

Some say the act will have a positive impact in the long term; it keeps the money from the wind farming business within the United States and spurs the country to start creating their own ships capable of the work. But in the meantime, it’s making the work much more expensive.

More and more issues like this one are likely to come up, and there will be debates within the government about how to harness this new technology for the good of the United States while balancing the industry’s need to see a profit. Legislation is likely to become more common.

 

Enviropeel is There Every Step of the Way

Enviropeel is passionate about all forms of renewable energy as we think it is vital for the future of our planet.

Because of the incredible conditions that offshore wind turbines face in the ocean, they need continuous protection against corrosion to ensure safe and efficient operation. We’ll be there to help, no matter what happens in this growing industry, both here in the United States as well as around the world. 

If you are looking for better protection for your wind turbine infrastructure and other at-risk equipment, get in touch with our team.

We’ll provide you with information on all of our Enviropeel products and help you find the product, applicator, and solutions that you need.

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