- OFFSHORE WIND ENERGY CAN CONTRIBUTE MASSIVELY TO OUR RENEWABLE ENERGY FUTURE, BUT WE HAVE PROBLEMS INTEGRATING IT INTO OUR EXISTING POWER GRID.
- ENERGY STORAGE IS STILL A MASSIVE OBSTACLE TO FURTHER PROGRESS IN WIND POWER GENERATION.
1. GEOGRAPHY MATTERS: Just as oil has favored the shallow, warm waters of the Gulf, wind energy has its preferred areas.
We see there is a divergence in fortunes between different regions in the world with regards to their wind energy potential. This pertains to wind speed mostly, but also the continuation of wind speeds generated at certain heights above ground, throughout the year in different seasons.
The regions with the greatest potential are those dense coastal areas with high wind speeds, such as the northeast coast of the United States and the North Sea. New York and the Conneticut coast have great potential for offshore wind energy. Historically, these regions have been the central areas where most industrial production has been concentrated. This means that offshore wind energy can provide electricity close to where energy is actually consumed.
It makes sense to connect local production from offshore wind farms and platforms with near-shore power grids. Industrial plants are located near the coast and are powered by renewable energy. Wind energy is brought to the port site, where the energy is fed into the grid via transformers. This can be a smart strategy if played well.
2. HOW TO MAKE MONEY WITH WIND ENERGY: The wind energy industry is facing a paradigm shift and needs to reposition itself. Offshore wind is the linchpin of the industrial world.
We see industrial production moving closer to the ports. When oil was cheap, we could locate almost anywhere. We could locate industry wherever we wanted. This was partly because oil was cheap. At the same time, labor was also relatively cheap. The two factors were probably related in some way. This meant that we had an almost inexhaustible supply of labor, which meant that we always had two things available: That was time and energy. Today, with changing demographics and rising energy costs, that has changed. The ports of yore have once again become dynamic centers of industry.
3. Wind energy storage is a major problem in wind energy today, especially offshore wind energy
One of the main concerns of electricity grid operators is the integration of offshore wind farms into the regional grid. It is not always the responsibility of the electricity grid operator to integrate offshore wind farms into the grid.
Electricity grid operators would also have to extend the grid to the offshore wind farms and connect these sites to the grid, but there are hardly any incentives for this. This is extremely expensive and is incurred as a cost for the electricity grid operators. It also drastically reduces the profitability of offshore wind farms.