68 Gigawatts of Offshore Wind Power in North Sea = No More Nuclear or Coal: Greenpeace

denmark offshore wind turbines photo

photo: m.prinke

Norway may be planning on becoming Europe's battery, but based on what Reuters is saying about a new proposal from Greenpeace it won't just be Norway which supplies Europe with electricity, it will be the North Sea. The head of renewable energy for the European Commission, Hans Van Steen, has called the proposal "ambitious but realistic".
118 Wind Farms + €20 Billion Electric Grid
There may be no actual plan in place, but the Greenpeace proposal goes like this: Build 118 offshore wind farms by 2030 in the North Sea off the coasts of Britain, France, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark and Norway. Connect the 68 gigawatts of power these windfarms would produce to the mainland through a grid of power cables on the sea bed, the construction of which could cost €20 billion ($29 billion).

Any variablility in output from these farms could be supplemented by "dispatchable power, such as hydro power in Norway." Greenpeace claims that by erecting such a network of windfarms it would help nuclear power and coal-fired plants become obsolete.

The Devil's in the Details
Certainly an ambitious proposal, but as Mr Van Steen also said, I wouldn't count on wind power entirely replacing nuclear, at least not in the short term. While I like the idea of that much offshore wind power, considering the finacing problems which offshore projects such as the London Array have had to weather, the construction, financial and political details could easily slow such a massive, if eminently necessary and useful, expansion.

via :: Reuters
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