If Boris Johnson’s promise to make Britain the “Saudi Arabia of wind power” is to be realised, floating wind turbines will have to be located in waters too deep to root them in the seabed. Almost 80 per cent of the world’s wind resource is found over waters deeper than 60 metres, which is the limit for turbines with fixed foundations. Winds are also stronger and more consistent further from the shore, where depths tend to be far greater. While the UK is blessed with large areas of shallow sea, there are growing conflicts over the competing needs of wind farm operators, fishing fleets and wildlife such as seabirds, which may be threatened by dense concentrations of giant turbines close to the shore. The wind industry and the Crown Estate, which leases rights to build wind farms, are now turning their attention to the vast areas of deep water in the Celtic Sea off Wales, Cornwall and Devon, the northern North Sea off Scotland and Northumberland, and the waters between Northern Ireland and Scotland.
Times 19th June 2021 read more »