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North Atlantic deep-sea wind farms could power whole world, says US study

EBR Staff Writer Published 11 October 2017

Deep sea wind farms in North Atlantic have potential to generate enough clean electricity which could possibly meet the power requirements of the whole world, according to a new study.

The research, which was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), was carried out by Anna Possner and Ken Caldeira from the Carnegie Institution for Science at Stanford University, California.

According to the research, the offshore wind farms could generate five times more energy compared to that of onshore wind turbines since the wind speeds are higher over the open oceans.

Possner said: "We found that giant ocean-based wind farms are able to tap into the energy of the winds throughout much of the atmosphere, whereas wind farms onshore remain constrained by the near-surface wind resources.”

The researchers said that the offshore wind power, however, would vary according to the seasons.

Using modeling tools, the team compared the productivity of large Kansas wind farms to theoretical massive open-ocean wind farms.

The results revealed that some areas ocean-based wind farms have capacity to produce at least three times more power compared to onshore wind projects.

The report said: "In the winter, North Atlantic wind farms could provide sufficient energy to meet all of civilization's current needs.

"In the summer such wind farms could merely generate enough power to cover the electricity demand of Europe, or possibly the US alone."

The study is backed by the grants from the Fund for Innovative Climate and Energy Research and the Carnegie Institution for Science.

Image: Offshore wind turbines. Photo: courtesy of xedos4/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.