Miami: Wind farms in the open ocean can generate much more renewable energy than terrestrial ones, possibly enough to feed the entire world, a US study said on Monday. Researchers at the Carnegie Institution for Science found that higher wind speeds over the open sea could produce five times more energy than wind turbines onshore.
Although there are currently no deep-water wind farms on a commercial scale, the results suggest that the technology is worth investigating, although the power varies seasonally. “In the winter, North Atlantic wind farms could provide enough energy to meet all the current needs of civilization,” the report said in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
“In the summer, such wind farms could only generate enough energy to meet Europe’s, or possibly the United States, electricity demand.” The study is based on computer models that compare the productivity of large Kansas wind farms with large offshore wind farms.
In some areas, particularly in the North Atlantic, ocean wind farms would be much more powerful because wind turbine drift would not slow the winds as much as they would ash. In addition, open-water wind farms were seen as more capable of capturing the energy that originates high in the atmosphere and is transported to the surface where the turbines can extract it.
“We found that gigantic ocean wind farms are able to harness wind energy in much of the atmosphere, while shore-based wind farms remain constrained by near-surface wind resources,” co-author Anna Possner said.