Offshore wind energy may benefit sea lifeDecember 13, 2012
Offshore wind energy may not be as damaging to the ocean as believed
Offshore wind energy is becoming more popular, especially in countries that have access to large swaths of ocean, but this form of wind power is not without its opponents. Advocates of offshore wind energy systems often cite the economic advantages of such endeavors, but some environmentalists have shown concern for the damage these systems may cause to ocean-based ecosystems. Offshore wind turbines must be built in these ecosystems in order to exploit powerful wind streams that hold vast potential in terms of energy production.
Study shows wind turbines can provide valuable shelter
A new study from the Marine Institute at Plymouth University suggests that offshore wind energy systems are not actually damaging to any ocean ecosystem. Instead, the study claims that these wind farms are actually beneficial to sea life. The study shows that the structure of an offshore wind turbine can provide vital shelter to sea life, such as fish and underwater plants. This shelter allows populations to flourish as it provides protection from predators and harmful materials that may be introduced into the ocean.
Strong ocean winds hold vast potential for energy production
Offshore wind energy systems are gaining attention because they are capable of producing large amounts of electrical power in an efficient manner. The ocean is home to strong winds. The strength of these winds is completely unmitigated by any geologic structure, such as mountains and flora. Because ocean wind streams are not constrained by such structures, they could be used to generate massive quantities of electrical power. The prospects of these systems is such that countries employing them could quickly move away from the use of fossil-fuels.
Concerns regarding offshore wind energy may be vanishing
The study from the Marine Institute suggests that the concerns regarding the impact offshore wind energy systems may have on ocean life are unfounded. If this is indeed the case, the most significant criticisms surrounding offshore wind energy systems will revolve around their cost. Some would argue that these systems also ruin coastal views in some communities.