The U.K. has come a long way since the Great Smog. Infrastructure and lifestyle changes improved environmental conditions and protected residents’ health. Today, fossil fuels are creating similar ecological impacts.
Environmental engineers are improving local air quality by minimizing fossil fuel emissions. England may decarbonize its energy grid using offshore wind farms. As a result, energy professionals are exploring the pros and cons of this power source before building more turbines.
The U.K.’s decarbonization goal may significantly decrease greenhouse gas emissions by 2035. Last summer, England’s renewable energy production increased to 48 gigawatts (GW). Energy professionals plan on increasing the clean power supply by diversifying production sources.
The country’s decarbonization plan integrates nuclear and offshore wind power into the grid. Technological advancements in the renewable energy industry may further reduce pollution and utility costs.
COMPARE PRICES FROM LOCAL INSTALLERS
Compare prices from local companies fast & free
Offshore wind power is more efficient than onshore alternatives. The ocean has few wind limitations, which increases turbines’ power production. Offshore turbines can produce twice as much energy as those onshore with minimal wind speed increases.
Consistent wind patterns over the ocean also increase turbines’ production rates. Connecting offshore turbines to England’s power grid can minimize the country’s reliance on fossil fuels.
Another benefit of offshore wind power is land preservation. Some residents support renewable energy production but don’t like the sight of turbines, so moving wind farms to the ocean is the solution. Energy professionals can also build larger turbines in the water with fewer restrictions.
Offshore wind farms have larger turbines, and taller ones can produce more electricity by capturing faster wind speeds.
Building large-scale wind farms in the ocean is less cost-effective than onshore construction. The construction process requires more materials, workers, and installation steps, which increase production costs.
Turbine installation can also damage aquatic environments. Drilling into the ocean floor may destroy natural habitats and pollute areas with debris. Turbines also produce sound pollution, which affects marine creatures’ health. Noise pollution can disorient aquatic species and leave them vulnerable to predators.
High wind speeds and wave impacts can degrade turbines’ efficiencies over time. Offshore turbines may require more frequent and invasive maintenance practices than onshore systems. Damaged parts also cause landfill pollution due to their low recyclability rates.
The final disadvantage of offshore wind farms is surface-level biodiversity loss. In America, turbines cause about 538,000 bird deaths annually.
Producing enough renewable energy to support England’s power grid requires diverse low-impact sources. Renewable energy professionals developed floating photovoltaic (PV) panels that create offshore solar power. The panels prevent light from penetrating the water and causing eutrophication.
The agricultural industry can also protect aquatic species beneath renewable energy farms by producing sustainable crops. They may use botanical oils to protect their plants instead of pesticides.
England’s energy sector can also invest in bladeless turbines for more sustainable offshore wind production. Engineers in Spain developed a bladeless Vortex turbine, which produces energy by vibrating. A significant amount of bird fatalities occurs when the avians collide with turbine blades. Removing blades can protect the species and reduce landfill pollution.
Another sustainable turbine alternative is a connected drone. The technology generates its own wind power and distributes energy to Earth’s surface through a tether. Drones can fly over the ocean to collect high-speed wind and deliver it to land, reducing damage to the marine ecosystem.
People may wonder if offshore farms are worth the investment. Offshore turbines have high efficiency rates and can help England meet its decarbonization goal. If energy professionals integrate sustainable technologies into the offshore sector, they can reduce economic and environmental limitations.
Jane works as an environmental and energy writer. She is also the founder and editor-in-chief of