February 25, 2008
If you are Norwegian you would be inclined to say “yes” and you would also be able to show good technological evidence to support this stand-point. If you are not, you may be allowed the benefit of a doubt. But mind you, such a doubt could be based on envy rather than facts! Because there are facts to support a very optimistic view. Let us take a brief look on the evidence!
The first piece is about the potential for windpower off-shore. A Norwegian survey has showed a stunning possibility of 14.000 TWh in the Norwegian sphere of interest in the Northern sea-basins. This potential is however more than 20 km from the coast, but in the coastal area you would still find more than 100 TWh. (The evidence is only available in Norwegian but tables normally speaks for themselves, see picture 9). It is a fact beyond doubt that there is a strong and persistent wind outside the Norwegian coast. Even if only a fraction can be harvested it might be big.
Or should we say the technologies? Because an important part is that there will be an important development in terms of technologies if the potential should be released. With an installed capacity today of 2 GW (appr. 7 TWh) globally and a possible break-even in costs at 60 GW (appr.200 TWh) Norway alone can fix the break-through.
Off-shore is indeed a thing that Norway has learnt to handle and there is now a profound infrastructure to design, construct and operate it. So Norway would certainly have a comparative advantage to exploit the offshore wind.
The big turbines and the ability to build high-rise structures to put the turbines on the proper height is already well-known and hardly a technological problem.
The issue is how you make the constructions stay where they should. In this respect it is interesting to see how companies are launching separate ideas, several of them based on new concepts, covering different ways from firm bottom fundament to floating and anchoring. The exposé of suggested solutions is a good verification on how the “learning curve” works when a growing market attracts new actors with new ideas and innovations.
Here are some concepts that were presented recently in conference in Kristiansund Norway. A municipality that is very well positioned to be a hub for the offshore wind boom.
And it was advertised that there is more to come!Author : Hans Nilsson