There’s been a lot written about offshore wind farms recently. First the United Kingdom announced that it had the world’s largest wind farm – the, based in the North sea, which can produce up to 300MW. But that seems to be a short-lived British title as the Chinese announced that it had started building an offshore wind farm at Bohai Bay which will generate a whopping 1,000MW. The location, just a few hours away from Beijing, is owned by China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), with the aid of a massive $2.2 billion in funding from the Chinese government.
Yes, that’s right the China National Offshore Oil Corporation- it does have the word ‘oil’ in it. Which on hand may seem strange, as if an oil company would not be focusing on renewable energy. BP was meant to portray ‘Beyond Petroleum’, but we see how that worked out, so you can imagine there might be an eyebrow raised here or there with the latest news from CNOOC.
In this case there are two different elements at play here: first, our need for alternate energy sources – it is not just a concern for us as consumers, but for energy companies as well. After all, if you have a product that has a limited lifespan, it’s a necessity to seriously review alternatives.
On another, more practical level, if you’re going to source electricity offshore, then oil companies – which have dealt with the pains and torments of offshore access, personnel, rigs, and platforms – have the ideal experience and could be just the platform to make offshore wind farms work.