Menu
Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Displaying items by tag: Floating Wind

Oceanographers at Bangor University in Wales are calling for research into the environmental impact of turbulence caused by tidal flow past floating deep-water wind farms.

New research is needed to fully understand how locating varying types of wind turbines could affect not only the seabed, but the waters, and everything they contain, according to Dr Ben Lincoln of Bangor University.

Britain leads offshore wind energy production globally, with current power generation meeting one-third of the national demand (~10GW), and floating wind in deep shelf sea areas has been identified as a major route in the “net zero” goal.

A current target to produce 50GW by 2030 is an increase of 67% on the target set just 12 months ago.

However, Dr Lincoln and fellow researchers notes that offshore sites at a depth of over 50 metres are very different in nature to shallow coastal sites used so far.

They say that with an additional 20,000 wind turbines set to be built in British water, there is a need to ensure full awareness of the positive and negative effects their presence could have on the surrounding environment.

“Our shelf seas are fully mixed during winter, but during summer months the deeper regions stratify, with a warm surface layer overlying the cooler water below,”Dr Lincoln has said in a statement.

“ This triggers a phytoplankton bloom which can be seen from space and forms the base of the marine food chain, supporting fish, seabirds and whales,”he explains.

“ During summer months following the spring bloom, phytoplankton growth is supported by nutrients stirred up from below by turbulence associated with wind and tides. This turbulence also mixes oxygen down to the deep water, where it is required for other key biological processes,”he notes.

A diagram shows the potential impact of wind infrastructure mixing in stratified water. Flow past the floating foundations show a wider area of possible mixing between the surface and deep waters behind the tethered turbines sited in the deeper water and beyondA diagram shows the potential impact of wind infrastructure mixing in stratified water. Flow past the floating foundations show a wider area of possible mixing between the surface and deep waters behind the tethered turbines sited in the deeper water and beyond

“Environmental assessments for the shallow shelf seas have focused on wildlife using or living within the affected areas. The difference with the deeper seas is that the fundamental functioning of the seas themselves could be affected,” Lincoln says.

“Turbulent mixing determines the timing and rate of the food supply on which marine ecosystem and key species rely. Flow past deep water wind farms will introduce ‘anthropogenic’ or man-made turbulence, and increase mixing,”he says.

“ This fundamental change could lead to significant regional impacts, which must be assessed. However, impacts are not necessarily negative, with the potential to enhance productivity and offset the impact of increasing stratification due to climate change,”he says.

“There’s no doubt that this growth in renewable energy is essential to meet global 2050 net zero commitments,” he says.

More details are in a research paper: Anthropogenic Mixing in Seasonally Stratified Shelf Seas by Offshore Wind Farm Infrastructure, published in Frontiers.

Published in Power From the Sea

RTÉ News reports that the ESB has put before planners its proposal for an offshore wind turbine production base at its Moneypoint plant.

The pre-consultation on the planned facility, envisaged as part of the ESB’s multi-billion-euro Green Atlantic @ Moneypoint programme, will continue till June but formal plans are not expected to go before An Board Pleanála until 2024.

“Moneypoint will become a centre for the construction and deployment of floating wind,” a spokesperson said of the proposed facility, part of the ESB’s plans to evolve the West Clare station from coal power into a green energy hub.

The State-owned power company outlined benefits of the site such as its existing deepwater access, and its potential to “a significant number of direct jobs in the Mid-West region”.

Elsewhere, a Dutch offshore energy firm is proposing a £1 billion investment off Northern Ireland that could generate power for up to half a million homes.

As the Belfast Telegraph reports, SBM Offshore says it is investigation two sites in the North Channel for a series of “new generation floating wind turbines”.

“The two sites would generate a combined 400MW, representing 13% of Northern Ireland’s energy needs and up to 57% of domestic requirement,” project director Niamh Kenny said.

The Belfast Telegraph has more on the story HERE.

Published in Power From the Sea

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Associations

ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Events 2022

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
https://afloat.ie/resources/marine-industry-news/viking-marine

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton
quantum sidebutton
watson sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
wavelengths sidebutton
 

Please show your support for Afloat by donating