Rhein on Energy and Climate

During the weekend of June 5-7th, STATOIL-Hydro, the Norwegian oil and gas company, has inaugurated the first floating wind turbine off the Norwegian coast.

The new device might give a tremendous boost to wind energy in general and off-shore wind energy in particular. It allows installing wind turbines in water depths up to 700 meter, far beyond the possibilities of traditional off-shore wind technology.

The 2.3 MW pilot project will be a floating structure with a steel jacket filled with ballast extending to 100 m depth, fastened to three anchor piles and linked to the land by a seabed cable. It will be tested during the next two years.

Its cost is considerably higher than that of traditional off-shore wind turbines. Its future success therefore depends on the ability of substantially cutting costs through technological refinements and economies of scale.

The new technology would dramatically enhance the scope of off-shore wind energy generation by vastly the expanding the areas for building off-shore wind parks and allowing for more regular generation of power thanks to quasi-permanent wind farther away from land.

It is the first time that a major oil/gas company builds on its long technological experience in off-shore gas-oil production for developing renewable energy technologies. Considering the limited oil/gas reserves of the North Sea, it was normal for STATOIL to look for alternatives. Hopefully other oil/gas companies will follow the example.

Brussels, 08.06.09 Eberhard Rhein

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  1. Floating wind turbine is good in light weight. However the problem is the floating wind turbine is easy to destory by the storm. I think the security wind speed of floating wind turbine is less than 40m/s. The traditional wind turbine can be suvival in 50 even 55m/s.

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  2. Nice article you posted . Congratulation to gecide going green and clean. We also preserve nature and save money by using free cost wind energy and that was by the help provided in: http://www.windpowercost.org Thanks for your post.

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  3. I personally believe that off-shore wind turbines is a great idea. The main reason they are pushing them is because many off-shore sites have high wind speeds than those on land. This can allow them to use smaller rotors and high speed generators. This drops the cost of productions greatly.

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