Monday, August 07, 2006

Wind Energy: Opportunities and Challenges for Off-Shore Applications

Offshore Wind Energy will be the topic of the next IEEE Richmond Section meeting on Thursday, 7 September 2006 at the Hilton Garden Inn Innsbrook. Social, Dinner & Speaker: 5:30PM. RSVP by Noon, Friday, 1 September 2006

Wind Energy:
Opportunities and Challenges for Off-shore Applications

Professor Saifur Rahman
Advanced Research Institute
Virginia Tech
With the worldwide generation of electricity from wind power reaching almost 60,000 megawatts at the end of 2005, this has become a significant source of electricity worldwide. In fact wind turbine generators accounted for 2% of the worldwide capacity for electricity generation at the end of 2005. As the land-based sites for wind energy projects are facing organized opposition in some parts of the world, the interest in off-shore wind energy exploration is growing. While it is more expensive to install wind turbine generators and their associated infrastructure in the water than in land, the available wind regime is usually better, and cost of "land" is cheaper.

This presentation examines the opportunities and challenges provided by large-scale offshore wind energy power plants. It provides a detailed history of the growth of wind energy throughout the world during the last 15 years, and traces the cost, size and country-specific penetration issues of wind energy. In that regard the presentation looks at the situation in Germany, United States, Denmark, India and Spain – the five top performing wind energy markets in the world. The market penetration and energy cost issues as well as environmental concerns from wind energy technologies are explored.


Saifur Rahman said...

There is some interest both at the state level and in business circles in Virginia to explore the potential of off-shore wind energy to meet the growing electricity demand. With limitations of nuclear power, and the greenhouse gas emission concerns from fossil fuel power plants, wind energy seems to be a natural candidate to at least partially meet the state's energy needs. But the impacts on shipping and bird migration need to be looked at carefullty, as well as the technologies for bringing electricity on-shore.

If someone can comment on the shipping channels off the coast of Virginia or bird migration patterns, it would help to identify the challenges and provide ideas to address them.

Anonymous said...

Is there any evidence to suggest that migratory birds would be harmed my off-shore wind energy farms? I would think that many more birds would be killed by hunting, vehicles, tall buildings and utility lines than by off-shore wind turbines.

Anonymous said...

BP Alternative Energy, a division of energy conglomerate BP, has agreed to pay $98 million for Greenlight Energy and the local company’s various energy-producing projects across the country.

It’s the second such purchase by BP in two months.

Greenlight’s portfolio of projects in 15 states from the West and Midwest to the Northeast made the company appealing to the international energy concern, officials said.

“We went through an extensive review of many potential wind-power companies and the opportunities that Greenlight has are impressive,” said Sarah Howell, of BP Alternative Energy.


IEEE Richmond Section Program Chair said...

Over 50 people attended Professor Rahman's presentation this evening. Questions ranged from the technical, business investment return to environmental. An offshore wind farm off the coast of Virginia looks promising and could help the local economy. The presentation was well received.