Sinking in to the sea?
The EU, in recent years has made great strides in utilising wind power and creating vast wind farms in order to make a larger percent of our power renewable, however, a new report has revealed that hundreds of off-shore wind turbines are sinking into the sea because their foundations are suffering subsidence.
Unless something is done, the potential is there for hundreds of offshore wind turbines to fall into the sea... and apparently they can't be easily converted to hydro-turbines. Apparently the fault had be traced to the grout mixture used to attach the turbines to their bases in the bedrock. It is made of cement, sand and gravel and it is apparently not holding the turbines firmly enough, causing several to shift several centimetres since installation.
EU's renewable energy sector at risk?
The operators and makers of the turbines say it may take as much as six months and GBP£50 million to fix the farms. Among them are a wind farm off Essex which has 30 turbines and another in Liverpool Bay which has 25 turbines. Further checks are to be made of turbines at Blyth, Northumberland and Robin Rigg in the Solway Firth. In all, it is believe 336 of the UK's turbines are at risk, however the problem was first discovered at the Dutch wind farm Egmond aan Zee.
According to Power and Energy EU, Peter Madigan, head of offshore renewables for Renewables UK, said: "A fault has been identified and has been shared with the industry, which has moved to see if there is a larger problem."
With new turbines being installed daily around the continent, it is clearly a matter of great concern for the renewable energy sector and as such, scientists and engineers are actively seeking a solution.
Currently, wind power is the fastest growing source of renewable energy in Europe, and with more wind farm projects planned and if the EU is to meet their renewable targets by 2020, it is hoped that an answer can be found quickly.
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