Providing enough electricity to power every home and business on the Earth could be made possible by offshore wind turbines.
This report comes from the International Energy Agency (IEA) which is based in Paris, France. It is the most comprehensive study done on a global basis of offshore wind, involving the analysis of thousands of miles of coastlines worldwide.
The IEA says that with government support and lower installation costs,
$1 trillion could be invested in the offshore wind turbine industry by 2040. This would also encourage the installation of larger turbines and floating platforms in deep water operations that would be further out to sea.
The IEA’s executive director, Fatih Birol, says that offshore wind power has the potential to be an energy source just as shale, gas and solar power have been in the past. Birol says that for offshore wind power to become a mainstays it does need the growing support of governments and industry.
According to the IEA’s report, only just developing prime wind sites close to shore could provide more than all the total amount of electricity consumed by the entire world today. The maximum potential though, for offshore wind production is projected to be 11 times more than what the entire global demand for electricity will be in 2040 or more than 120,000 gigawatts. This estimated figure though does not include the difficulties in storing snd transmitting the power generated by offshore wind turbines.
With increasing demands for clean power as the world attempts to lower its carbon use to generate electric power, offshore wind turbine power will be able to fill that need.
Europe is an example of this. The EA is set to quadruple offshore wind power capacity by 2030 and by 2040 offshore wind power will be the largest source of electricity in that region of the world. The production of electricity by offshore wind turbines is expected to outpace the demand for electricity use and the surplus would then allow for the production of hydrogen which could in turn lower the carbon use in construction and transportation.
If offshore wind turbine powered production of electricity comes anywhere near the scale predicted by the IEA, it would help governments meet the goals of the 2015 Paris climate agreement, because it would eliminate sourcing electricity from ‘dirty’ fuels like coal and cut CO2 emissions.
China is predicted to have the largest offshore wind power fleet by 2025, which will surpass the UK and the US has good offshore potential near big cities along the northeast coastlines as well as along the west coasts of Washington, Oregon and California.