Offshore Wind Über Alles!

“If all German wind power projects are realized as planned, the country will incur economic losses well over 100 billion Euros by 2030. … The only word that describes this ‘world improvement’ strategy is suicidal.”


I’ve always been skeptical of the practicality of offshore wind power generation. Designing any kind of structure to stand up to the marine environment is a challenge. Each structure must be designed respecting the particular characteristics of the soil at its site. Not only are offshore turbines heavy, an operating turbine generates a tremendous torque which must be compensated in the structural design.

Design is one issue; actually installing and maintaining an offshore turbine quite another. The turbine structures are installed and maintained with the same type of jackup boats that are commonly used in the shallow water offshore oil and gas industry. Liftboats are expensive and present the same safety issues in power generation as in oil and gas operations. On top of everything else, keeping rotating equipment operating and keeping corrosion at bay in a marine environment is a constant challenge.

According to Edgar Gaertner at, Germany is discovering all of this the hard way…

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