Norwegian oil and gas giant StatoilHydro has inaugurated the world's first floating full-scale offshore wind turbine, paving the way for deep-water wind farms possessing the dual appeal of being out of sight as well as more efficient.
The turbine, known as Hywind, towers 213 feet above the waterline, but the steel spar on which it is mounted plunges another 328 feet below the surface, where it is anchored to the sea floor by three stabilizing cables. The spar is filled with water and rocks to provide ballast that keeps the turbine from capsizing in rough seas. Located about six miles off of Karmoey near the country's southwestern coastline, Hywind will serve as a test bed for offshore technologies over the next two years as engineers work on getting the cost of Hywind down and figure out how best to develop even larger deep-water turbines.
Hywind, which was covered in Popular Science's "Future of Energy" issue, is a fairly standard 2.3-megawatt wind turbine, but implementing it in such deep water (Hywind can be installed in depths ranging from 400 feet to nearly 2,300 feet, far deeper than existing shallow-water wind technologies allowed) cost StatoilHydro $66 million. Bringing the price in line with that of fixed turbines that are installed in 200-foot depths is one of the goals of StatoilHydro's ongoing research with Hywind.
If successful, Hywind could revolutionize offshore wind power, especially in countries like Japan, South Korea, the U.S. and Spain, where coastline is plentiful and wind is abundant. The U.S. Department of the Interior estimates the U.S. alone could generate 900 gigawatts off its Pacific coast, but many offshore wind farms face objections from wildlife groups concerned with the effects on avian life along the shores as well as coastline dwellers concerned with their being an eyesore. Hywind could circumvent both problems for the most part, while also proving that it's possible to place turbines in offshore areas where winds are generally stronger and more consistent. StatoilHydro said the turbine should be producing electricity in the next few weeks.
The rapid ups and downs of wind power need balancing by old generation fast spooling low efficiency gas plant. Replacing the older type gas plants with modern high efficiency slow spooling versions, actually produces less green house gases at a lower cost for the same amount of power than if the wind mill was never built.
Wind Power is only suitable for pump air and hydro storage or fuel production, but that is so much more expensive than 24/7 always on nuclear. Wind is a dead end technology.
Could you post some citations for your information as well as the source and when the data was generated ?
I would like to see some numbers to support what you said, most of it looks like information from the 80's
More wind (mills) turbine.
Sources on wind balancing costs
For nuclear costs google westinghouse china ap1000. You'll see the $1200 a kw cost there a tiny fraction of wind cost after the 20 to 30% wind load capacity is factored in.
Thanks for the articles.
That is the current issue with a few of the different renewable (this and Solar).
I am hoping for some of the new work on energy storage to help alleviate some of these issues. Until they do get ultra-capacitors and other energy storage methods on the grid though you are correct that something else is needed.
I would recommend a Nuke plant though.
Nuke, however, suffers the opposite problem. Long start-stop cycles mean that Nuke cannot maintain the pace of daily fluctuations in grid demand. Thus, you still have to compensate for variability with carbon-based methods, just for fluctions in consumption, rather than production.
Now, if Nuke really was "too cheap to meter" then we would not have a problem - we would just keep them going at peak-use 24/7 (and not care about the wasted energy put into the grid).
As is, however, all energy costs too much to produce to waste it on overproduction (note that you could do the same overproduction with wind, but noone wants to pay that bill).
That, however, is the real key to being carbon neutral. Nuke or wind, you are just going to have to overproduce consistanly and choose to take that additional cost of production.
ctually there is already infrastructure around that could take up that challenge, at least here in the NW.
Right now there is a giant waterworks project in OR and WA that serves as water storage for hydro power plants. There are already pipelines in place for moving water in huge amounts from 1 reservoir to another. Ins been in place nearly 50 years for the most part.
All that would be needed is tie in the wind power generators to power the pumps that already exist. More pumps could even be added. Run the water uphill, store it and generate electricity with it on demand. No its not efficient.. but it doesnt need to be either since you are dealing with waste energy anyway.
All these "green" technologies in general are pardon my language...bullshit
I dont consider nuclear a "green" energy source because of the waste....there was an article on popsci about bacteria that effectively combat the radiactivity of that waste
NUCLEAR IS THE FUTURE
is geothermal better or worse than nuke and wind and solar??
Is the nuclear de future? Only if you forget the cost of keep the nuclear waste over 7000 years.
The article linked by "sethdayal" forget that hydroturbines can be reversibles. And Combined Cycle Gas Turbine (CCGT)can adapt easily the changes of windpower. The electric network of Spain have used these solutions without problems for years --> https://demanda.ree.es/generacion_acumulada.html . Now, near 15 % of spanish electric power comes from de wind. In few years will be 30 %
I like how everybody talks about how we need to become less dependant on oil, and we need to go green, and all that... And yet, they're worried about these turbines being an eyesore...
As I understand it the lightweight blades of the wind turbine can be destroyed easily when coming in contact with solid objects and even excessive winds. If there is a big storm can't the waves reach the tips of the blades? Would it not shatter? What mechanism do they use to prevent this?