The World’s First Floating Green Energy Site!!

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In Brief

Scotland has become the developer of the world’s first floating wind farm while the storms lashing at many European countries in the past week proved a huge wind energy source to benefit various countries in Europe – just the first step toward the world’ s future renewable energy!!

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Wind energy, the type of clean energy that many countries are focusing on while trying to come up with tools, equipment and/or inventions necessary for the use of wind energy as renewable energy to replace other fuel energy sources causing environmental pollution, particularly coals which have been a primary cause of global warming – a hot issue globally as well as a continuously raised issue in Europe.

Scotland, a country made up of more than 700 islands, shares a border with England to the south while being otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean.  Thus, the country came to the idea of utilizing its wind energy despite its recent interest and success in the area of clean energy taking place in the past few months as evidenced the country’s declaration of its objectives to become zero-carbon by 2020 with on-going development at present.  (Examples of Scotland’s clean energy projects include, for example, the Large-scale Tidal Power Farm Project and the World’s First Hydropower Project entitled “The MeyGen Tidal Stream Project” with the objective to boost electricity supply to serve more than 175,000 homes, among others.)

Scotland’s large-sized floating wind farm measuring 285 m in height, 75 m in width and weighing approx. 11,500 tons is situated in Aberdeen off the northern coast (Aberdeenshire and Peterhead).  The world’s first floating wind farm known under the Hywind Project and operated by Statoil, Norway’s leading energy company, consists of five floating wind turbines that are fastened together to float approx. 180 m above sea surface with approx. 80 m submerged beneath and tied with heavy chains weighing as much as 1,200 tons.  With rather high electricity generation capacity estimate, 20,000 homes are supposed to be provided with said energy supply while the entire outfit is seen to boost electric power to be supplied to the local community by 30 megawatts.  The power generation technology is expected to enormously affect global clean energy utilization.

Scotland is not the only country taking interest in renewable energy.  Last June, China’s Qinghai Province conducted an experiment on 100% utilization of renewable energy lasting seven full days for more than five million residents of the province.  The outcome was the generation of as much as 1.1 billion kWh of electric power, 73% of which was hydropower and the rest wind and solar power.  This could replace coal-based electricity generation which would have required 535,000 tons of coal.  Although a short-term utilization, the experiment proved a good start as far as China’s preparation for future green energy was concerned.

The campaign for countries worldwide to reduce pollution that causes  global warming and ensure self-relying energy utilization via green energy proves a vital challenge which leads to the emergence of the roadmap (by Jacobson’s Group) for 100% utilization of renewable energy in 139 countries involving the estimation of renewable energy sources in each individual country, detailed data collection and analysis regarding electric power utilization, transportation, industry/agriculture and fishery of the countries in question.  Said roadmap is expected to realize 80% utilization of renewable energy (wind, water and solar) by 2030 and 100% utilization by 2050, which would mean reduced loss of people’s lives caused by air pollution by four to seven millions per year, more stable energy price and reduced health- and weather-related expenses by US$ 20 trillion per year.  Findings of studies have shown that large-sized countries by population density such as the United States of America, China and several European countries, among others, are more feasible to adjust to and achieve the 100% utilization of renewable energy according to the roadmap than smaller countries with population density or countries surrounded by the sea or ocean such as Singapore which require more budget- and/or investment-intensive construction of necessary infrastructure.  Besides, the roadmap states a number of advantages to occur due to the big change, be they the reduction of oil/uranium fuel or fossil fuels such as minerals and coal.  This is seen as a measure to reduce energy utilization by 13% as electric power obtained from renewable energy is more effective than that obtained from coal burning.

At any rate, questions have been raised concerning the roadmap and answers continue to be found as regards the technology to retain generated energy, be it in the construction of an underground heat storage which might have limitations in terms of adequate storage space or the construction expense/investment and/or potentially capital-intensive infrastructure modifications.  Still, in consideration for future sustainability, renewable energy remains a core issue to be closely watched, studied and experimented on in the months and years to come.

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Reference and pictures by e27.co, techcrunch.com, pexels.com, futurism.com

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