Wind is a renewable, free, secure and domestic resource that emits no greenhouse gases.
When compared to onshore, offshore wind has several advantages such as:
· Availability of large areas for plenty of turbines
· Higher and more uniform wind speeds
· Low roughness class and less turbulence
· Close proximity to the coastal areas where electricity demand is generally higher
· Theoretically less wake effects due to the increased distance between turbines hence higher park efficiency
However it has a major disadvantage of having a higher cost due to:
· Use of more expensive materials
· Need for expensive insulation against harsh sea conditions
· Integration of cables into electrical grids (generally into weak coastal grids)
· Higher maintenance and operation costs
· And also the uncertainty for almost all of the design related issues.
Offshore wind energy is only feasible when considered within a larger system, typically called offshore wind energy conversion system (OWEC). For the last three decades the cost of onshore wind energy decreased more than 80%. And according to some scholars this trend will continue in the offshore wind systems too.