The installation of today’s giant wind turbines at sea requires highly skilled technicians, says Siemens, so the company has developed a virtual reality simulation tool to assist in training.
The exponential rise of offshore wind energy can be attributed to a number of factors – including abundance of space and greater, consistent wind resources which result in an energy output up to 40 percent higher than onshore.
The E.U. in particular has experienced huge offshore wind power expansion in recent years. 3,230 turbines are now installed and grid-connected, for a cumulative total of 11,027 MW. According to Wind Europe Associations, including sites under construction, there are 84 offshore wind power plants in 11 European countries.
The rest of the world is catching up. China had a total of 226 offshore wind turbines in 2014, and is speeding up its developments. The U.S. came online in 2016 with its first offshore wind farm off Rhode Island. Such global growth has helped drive investment into the sector and interest has led to a decrease in prices by nearly 60 percent since 2000.