Bigger blades for offshore will reduce costs

Taking a new design approach will help reduce the costs of offshore wind turbines and therefore help initiate the start of mass energy production, according to research published today. Currently, […]

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By Tom Gibson

Taking a new design approach will help reduce the costs of offshore wind turbines and therefore help initiate the start of mass energy production, according to research published today.

Currently, offshore turbines are only adapted from onshore designs, making them overly expensive. The Energy Technologies Institute say that if designs for offshore are changed and the blades for the turbines made significantly bigger, the energy gains will be much greater.

The ETI’s Helm Wind project aims to deliver step-change improvements in the economics of the offshore wind power station of the future and brings together experience from E.ON and BP, Rolls-Royce and the University of Strathclyde.

The project found that costs could be around 30% less than current state of the art offshore wind turbines with the potential for additional savings as the technology is developed further.

ETI Chief Executive Dr David Clarke said: “The project has shown that sufficient improvements could be made through technology innovation to deliver energy costs that are comparable with the current onshore wind costs as well as identifying that the optimum turbine size for offshore is significantly larger than the current state of the art ones being developed.”

The ETI say that the potential of offshore wind is important for the UK to reach its carbon targets and also for long-term economic prosperity, but for this to happen costs have to greatly reduce.

The Energy Technologies Institute is a UK based company formed from global industries and the UK Government.