Date:22 May 2017
The wind farm island could supply over 80 million people with wind power, and major players are betting on it.
By David Grossman
Among ideas to increase use of wind power in the world, the North Sea Wind Power Hub might be the most ambitious. The plan is build an artificial island in the North Sea that would supply energy to up to 80 million people in Europe by 2050. The plan has attracted three nationalised European energy transmission companies who are hoping more join in soon.
The wind farm island would be around two square miles in size and would be located in the Dogger Bank, a windy shallow sandbank around 60 miles off the coast of England. The island would have a harbor and a small airport, but the main attraction would be the estimated 7,000 wind turbines surrounding it.
“We haven’t let our fantasy gain the upper hand, although it may sound a little crazy and like something out of science fiction,” says Torben Glar Nielsen, the technical head of Dutch national energy provider Energinet.dk to the Copenhagen Post.
The island, according to the current plan, would be connected to the UK, Norway, the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark and Belgium though the use of undersea cables. It would also be expensive. Current estimates say the total price would cost around a 1.5 billion dollars. However, this would be paid over time through high energy and low upkeep. Spare parts could be kept on the island, reducing cost and repair time. Staff could live on the island with easy access to England.
Inspiration for the wind farm island came from the need to meet European Union goals for energy emission, which require the reduction of greenhouse emissions by 80-95 percent by 2050. This will require new sources of both wind and solar, and the companies hope that thinking big will get the job done.
“We who have the responsibility of transporting the electricity generated by offshore wind turbines back to land and the consumers must constantly push and make sure that the price continues to fall,” Glar Nielsen says. “That requires innovative big-scale solutions, and an energy hub in the North Sea is worth thoroughly looking into.”
Source: The Independent
Image and video credit: TenneT
This article was originally written for and published by Popular Mechanics USA.