Shell: step up building huge North Sea offshore wind farms

Photo: Gemini Windpark

Wind energy not only has the potential to develop into the most important sustainable energy source, but it is also the cheapest means of generating power, according to Mark Gainsborough, head of Royal Dutch/Shell’s new energy division.

Gainsborough said the current generation of North Sea wind farms are too small. Speaking at a wind energy meeting in London earlier this week, he made a plea for larger cross-border offshore wind projects, the Financieele Dagblad said on Friday.

Studies have revealed the North Sea has the potential to support wind power capacity of 200 gigawatt or more. But until now, only 13  gigawatt is operational. Gainsborough said energy groups should be planning projects in the 10 gigawatt league.

New projects should have hundreds, not scores, of turbines the Shell energy director said. ‘Think of the cost savings that can be achieved with assembly line production of offshore wind turbines.’ He also urged a more systematic approach to offshore wind parks including the necessary infrastructure to land, store and distribute the power.

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