Renewable technologies really are the future of energy generation. The current 38.2% of national level power generated by renewables is expected to rise to approximately 74% by 2030!
This is not so surprising with the level of investment seen across the world resulting in a greatly increased capacity of all types of renewable energy. The UK in particular has seen a number of large scale wind farms begin construction in the past few years. Projects such as Dogger Bank, Hornsea One and the Walney Extension will all contribute many megawatts of power to the UK electricity grid. The British government aims to quadruple wind power capacity and have wind power contributing more than a third of the UK's electricity demand by 2030.
On the whole, commercial wind turbines are becoming larger with a higher degree of electricity production. The average offshore wind turbine had a rated power of just under 1 megawatt 20 years ago. Now the average is 5 megawatts! The main limiting factor to their growth is the ability to manufacture blades that can withstand the high stresses required. Recent improvements to this field mean we could be seeing many large wind turbines under construction capable of up to 20 megawatts in the near future!
New multirotor design concepts for offshore wind turbines such as the ‘Wind Wall’ designed by Wind Catching Systems have potential to reduce the maintenance cost of wind turbines by reducing the travel time to each of the turbines. Designs like this will hopefully help to bring down the levelized cost of wind energy, helpling it to be more economically competitive with more traditional energy generating technologies.