GOING BIG ON RENEWABLE ENERGY
Despite the falling price of oil in the market, the United Kingdom has continued developing renewable sources of energy. Case in point, recently, it announced the Hornsea project, an offshore wind farm.
It will sprawl over 407 square kilometers (252 miles), making it the world’s largest offshore wind farm. It is set to be located 120 kilometers off the north-east coast of East Yorkshire.
Developed by Dong Energy, the project is expected to power over a million homes. To date, Dong has invested over £6 billion ($6.7 billion) into wind energy and is expected to double that in 2020. The project is expected to be operational in 2020.
The 1.2GW Hornsea project will use 7MW wind turbines, the largest generally available, with a height of 190 meters. Dong is planning on procuring the turbines from Siemens, the German industrial giant.
Brent Cheshire, chief executive of Dong Energy in the UK, said: “We are making a major financial investment to construct this giant wind farm and this underlines our commitment to the UK market. […] To have the world’s biggest ever offshore wind farm located off the Yorkshire coast is hugely significant, and highlights the vital role offshore wind will play in the UK’s need for new low-carbon energy.”
THE BENEFITS OF WIND POWER
The project will created 2,000 jobs for the construction of the project, while its operation will create another 300 jobs. It would also raise the prospects for the wind industry in the UK after its government announced the ending of subsidies for onshore wind generation last year.
Onshore wind, which is cheaper and more energy efficient, has been outpaced by government support for offshore wind due to local objections on land. Offshore wind also requires more maintenance and has much higher costs than onshore wind.
Nonetheless, the project’s go-ahead is expected to reinvigorate other offshore wind farms in the UK, including Neart na Gaoithe and Beatrice One in Scotland and East Anglia One.