Britain, a global leader in offshore wind energy, plans to make the sector one of the pillars of its transition to carbon neutrality in the next few decades.
The country aims to quadruple its offshore electricity production capacity by 2030 by utilizing the windswept North Sea and a favorable policy environment.
“It’s more conducive to build offshore in the UK than anywhere else in Europe,” said James Brabben, of the Cornwall Insight energy consultancy. “There’s quite a consensus of support around offshore wind from the public and politics.”
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government pledged in its election manifesto to increase power from offshore wind from 10 gigawatts to 40 gigawatts this decade.
It wants Britain to be carbon neutral by 2050, with onshore wind, solar, hydro and biomass also to contribute to its energy mix.
The country already produces almost 40 percent of its electricity from renewable sources, according to figures published this month for the third quarter of last year.
Britain plans to favor the development of colossal offshore wind farms given the country’s relatively small land mass.
There were 38 operational sites comprising about 2,000 turbines at the end of 2018, according to the last available figures from the Crown Estate, the hereditary land and property portfolio of the royal family, which owns most of Britain’s seabed. Nearly 1,000 more turbines are already in the planning stages.
Two of the biggest projects are Walney Extension, in north Wales, and London Array, at the mouth of the River Thames.
The two sites are home to the highest concentration of British offshore farms, thanks to the windy weather conditions created by their geography.
Several other projects are also under way, including at Hornsea and Dogger Bank off Yorkshire, which will compete for the title of largest offshore wind turbine field in the world.
Johnson has also touted rolling out floating wind farms, which utilize cutting-edge technology still being developed, to tap into windy marine areas with deeper seabeds.
Maritime wind farms have not proved universally popular among residents when visible from the shore, while some non-governmental organizations have concerns over the impact on marine mammals and migratory birds.
The sector is also trying to account for the so-called “global cost” to the planet of building and running wind turbines.
Danish manufacturer Vestas has estimated it takes between five and 12 months of use to offset the energy cost of a turbine, the difference depending on the model and wind conditions.
“As turbines repay their entire carbon footprint in such a short space of time, they are excellent examples of sustainable technology in action,” RenewableUK industry trade association head of communications Robert Norris said.
Alastair Dutton, who heads a task force at the Global Wind Energy Council industry group, said that bigger investment in technological innovation is needed “to further increase their sustainability.”
That would allow turbine producers to “move away from carbon-intensive raw earth materials and implement the highest level possible of recycling to insert wind within the circular economy,” Dutton said.
Offshore wind power had a record year last year, with the completion of projects off Taiwan, Britain, China and the Netherlands, among others.
The International Energy Agency has highlighted the almost “unlimited potential” of offshore wind power, as production costs fall and technological progress increases turbines’ power and efficiency.
POOR INTERNAL CONTROLS: Insurance Bureau Director-General Shih Chiung-hwa said the company is expected to get back on track while its chairman is suspended The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) yesterday fined Shin Kong Life Insurance Co (新光人壽) NT$27.6 million (US$939,415) for a reckless investment that endangered its solvency, and suspended its chairman Eugene Wu (吳東進) for poor supervision. The penalty is the second-highest in a single case after Nan Shan Life Insurance Co (南山人壽) was fined NT$30 million in September last year and its chairman Du Ying-tzyong (杜英宗) suspended for two years, the commission said. In three rounds of special and regular examinations conducted since last year, the commission found that Shin Kong Life had given too much power to an asset and liability management committee
HEAVY INVESTMENT: Moody’s affirmed the firm’s ‘Aa3’ rating with a ‘stable’ outlook due to its leading position in the industry and ability to match customer requirements Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co’s (TSMC, 台積電) revenue this year is expected to increase about 21 percent to NT$1.29 trillion (US$44.01 billion) from NT$1.07 trillion last year, driven by strong demand for advanced 5-nanometer and 7-nanometer chips mainly used in smartphones and high-performance computing devices, a Moody’s Investors Service report on Wednesday said. TSMC’s rate of revenue growth next year is to increase to 7.5 percent, the ratings agency said. The company, which supplies 5-nanometer chips for Apple Inc’s new iPad series, has introduced the advanced chips ahead of its competitors and gained a significant share of the market for the foundry industry’s
Sony Corp has cut its estimated Play Station 5 (PS5) production for this fiscal year by 4 million units, down to about 11 million, following production issues with its custom-designed system-on-chip (SOC) for the new console, people familiar with the matter said. The Tokyo-based electronics giant in July boosted orders with suppliers in anticipation of heightened demand for gaming in the holiday season and beyond, as people spend more time at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the company has come up against manufacturing issues, such as production yields as low as 50 percent for its SOC, which have cut into
O2O BICYCLE SHOW: The Taiwan Bicycle Show next year is to be online to offline, with forums, audio-visual conferences and livestreaming of the offline events Local bicycle makers expect demand to continue outpacing supply due to orders triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, with some companies seeing orders back up through next year. “Next year is all full in terms of orders. Our lead time on components is one year,” Giant Manufacturing Co Ltd (巨大機械) chairwoman Bonnie Tu (杜綉珍) told a news conference in Taipei organized by the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) to announce next year’s Taipei Cycle Show. The pandemic has reduced bicycle supplies and increased demand around the world, Robert Wu (吳盈進), chairman of KMC (Kuei Meng) International Inc (桂盟國際), one of the world’s