Understanding Onshore and Offshore Wind Energy with Green Development LLC

Rohan Mathew

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Renewable energy of all kinds has become more available and affordable in the past decade. Now more than ever, wind turbines are one of the leading options for green energy. Wind power is abundant and reliable. And when it comes to tapping into this vital resource, companies like Green Development LLC are leading the way.

There are two primary types of wind farms: Onshore and offshore. Each type of wind farm has its advantages. Below, we will examine a few of the benefits of onshore and offshore wind farms. 

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Understanding the Difference

Winds naturally occur because of differences in air pressure in the atmosphere. Temperature variations create pressure differences, which account for different winds in different locations. Onshore winds blow from the oceans inland, and offshore winds move from the land toward the seas. In short, onshore wind farms are built on land. Offshore farms feature turbines built over ocean water. 

Onshore wind turbines were developed over a century ago, while turbines that harvest offshore winds were only introduced in the early 1990s. The majority of offshore wind farms are found in Europe. According to data from Global Wind statistics, almost 90% of operational offshore wind farms are in Europe, and the first offshore wind farm was installed in Denmark in 1991.

But despite these differences, each type of wind farm has distinct advantages. 

Advantages of Onshore Wind Farms

One of the largest advantages of onshore wind farms is cost. Onshore wind farms cost less in general. Building and maintaining wind turbines on land is much easier (and cheaper) than building offshore turbines since offshore farms require undersea transmission infrastructure. Consequently, onshore wind production enables investors to recoup their investments much sooner. 

Prices for energy generated by onshore wind farms are typically much lower than those from offshore production. In fact, the power from onshore wind farms is currently the cheapest form of renewable energy available compared to offshore wind energy, solar energy, and nuclear power.

The location of onshore farms provides other advantages, as well. Whereas offshore production requires transferring electricity many miles underwater before it reaches the grid, onshore wind farms can be built close to the industries and residential areas that will use the harvested energy, thereby providing an affordable and reliable energy source for local communities. It’s also worth noting that the training for onshore wind farm technicians is not as lengthy and complex as the training for offshore wind technicians, but the pay scale for offshore technicians tends to be higher. All wind farms, whether onshore or offshore, can help boost local economies in the form of high-quality jobs.

There are also benefits to offshore wind farms. Because of the speed and consistency of offshore winds, each offshore turbine can harvest more energy. Offshore wind farms can also operate with fewer turbines because of this. In addition, since offshore farms are located in remote parts of the ocean, most offshore turbines do not interfere with human activity.

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But one major downside of their remote location is the energy produced by offshore wind farms must be transported to the grid, which is on land. The installation and maintenance of the undersea infrastructure required to do this are quite expensive. 

Furthermore, the constant movement of the water and the friction from waves means that offshore turbines may need more regular maintenance. And because they are so remote, it is often more difficult for maintenance crews to fix problems in a timely manner. 

Both onshore wind farms and offshore alternatives have advantages. Both provide communities with reliable and renewable energy.

About Green Development LLC

Green Development LLC manages and owns renewable energy projects from start to finish, including planning and design, site development, project financing, construction, operation and maintenance, and asset management. Working with municipalities, quasi-public entities, schools, churches, housing authorities, and other nonprofit organizations, the company provides energy savings through the virtual net metering program. Farmers and landowners receive lease revenue for the small portion of land used for the project while preserving their farms. Green Development has expertise in financial and legislative requirements, supply chain, logistics, technological advancement, and project management. In-house experts are available to perform monitoring, routine maintenance, and repair projects.