The Future Of Offshore Wind Farms Is In Question

Although Breitbart is typically not a source I would consult for information on wind farm projects, I think that this article, FLAGSHIP GERMAN OFFSHORE WIND FARM PROJECT HUMILIATED BY TECHNICAL FAULTS, provides a good summary of the state of the wind farm projects in Europe. This article does not mention the technical problems but I suspect the biggest problem for these big wind generators is the bearing technology is not good enough. I first heard about the bearing problem in the article, Bearings: The Achilles Heel of Wind Turbines. This sounds like an engineering technology problem that is not going away fast enough to avoid big political problems for  wind technology supporters.

Offshore wind farm


Germany’s flagship Bard 1 offshore wind farm has been described as “a faulty total system” as technical problems continue to plague the project, casting major doubts on the feasibility of large scale offshore projects.

The wind farm was officially turned on in August last year but was shut down again almost immediately due to technical difficulties that have still not been resolved – and now lawyers are getting involved.

The wind farm comprises 80 5MW turbines situated 100 km off the north German coastline. The difficulty facing engineers is how to get the electricity generated back to shore. So far, every attempt to turn on the turbines has resulted in overloaded and “gently smouldering” offshore converter stations.

Built at a cost of hundreds of millions and costing between €1 and €2 million a day to service, the project is estimated to have cost €340 million in lost power generation over the last year alone. And if the problems with the technology are deemed not to be the fault of the operator, German taxpayers will be on the hook for the running and repair costs, thanks to the German Energy Act 2012.