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Dynamic floating windfarms could provide renewable future

Floating windfarms off the coast of Scotland could provide an affordable future for renewable energy, according to ministers, as the first project is green lit

Floating windfarms could cut costs dramatically

Floating windfarms could cut costs dramatically

Until now, offshore windfarms have had to be sunk to the bottom of the sea and fitted to large concrete bases, but it is thought that the new technology that allows them to float nearer the surface will cut a considerable amount off installation costs.

The technology would not only save the country millions of pounds worth of investment, but also slow the rate of energy bill increases and provide a brighter future for the renewable energy source.

New technology

The first of the new floating windfarms is now due to be built off the coast of Aberdeen in Scotland. The Buchan Deep project in the North Sea will be carried out by Norwegian firm Statoli in just 100 metres of water.

It will consist of some five turbines being installed on floating platforms as opposed to being rooted to the bed of the sea. These will output a total of 30 megawatts of energy when completed.

The green lighting of this latest project will come as a real boost to those who want to see wind power continue as one of the main contributors towards moving the UK nearer its zero-carbon targets.

It has been feared in recent times that the government sees wind power as something of a weaker option and was starting to turn away from it thanks to a perceived lower impact than intended.

Money-saving strategy

The primary purpose of installing offshore windfarms in this way is so that the wind industry in general can make savings over the next few years.

The Guardian reports that companies in this sector are looking to cut their overall expenses by 30%, and the Buchan Deep farm will be used as a trial that could be rolled out across the wider market should it successfully bring costs down.

Huub den Rooijen, head of offshore wind at the Crown Estate, which controls the seabed across the UK, said of the new installation: “Investing in new technologies will be crucial to unlocking offshore wind potential over the long term while we focus on the current development pipeline.”

Farms praised by government

Energy and Climate Change Minister Michael Fallon praised the dynamic nature of the wind sector as a result of this new technology coming to the fore.

“This innovative project will lead to the construction of the first floating offshore windfarms in the UK. This underlines the UK’s attractiveness as the number one destination for offshore wind development,” he said.

The news comes just days after the government introduced new rules for the wind industry that it said would see any developers legally obliged to get into contact with local communities to discuss their plans for wind installations near to communities before they even apply for planning permission.

It is hoped this will encourage investment in the sector by ensuring fewer farm applications are rejected because they face strong opposition after developers submit their plans.

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