In brief: Scotland is now home to the world's first floating wind farm. The installation is expected to provide enough electricity to supply 10,000 homes with power.
Scotland's new floating wind farm has officially started generating off-shore wind power. The installation could potentially power about 20,000 homes. Nicola Sturgeon, the first minister of Scotland, ceremoniously kicked off the Hywind project, located about 25 km (15 miles) off the shores of the Scottish town of Peterhead in Aberdeenshire.
The turbines are 253 m (about 830 ft) tall, 78 m (256 ft) of which is submerged beneath the surface. Each massive turbine is tethered to the bottom of the sea by heavy chains weighing in at 1,200 tonnes (1,323 tons). The entire installation is projected to add 30 MW of power into the local grid. The project is a culmination of 15 years of development from Statoil, a Norwegian energy firm.
In a statement from Statoil, Irene Rummelhoff, the company's executive vice president for New Energy Solutions, said, "Through industry and supportive policies, the UK and Scotland is taking a position at the forefront of developing offshore wind as a competitive new energy source."
Setting the Example
Scotland has been making major clean energy strides within the past few months. The country recently announced a goal to become "zero-carbon" by 2020 and they are using the full gamut of clean energy generating sources to help meet that lofty goal. Currently, the world's first large-scale tidal power farm, the MeyGen tidal stream project, is operating off Scotland's north coast. This project hopes to scale up in order to provide power for 175,000 homes.
These emerging technologies could have an enormous impact on the availability of clean energy for many parts of the world. Innovators are continuously discovering new ways to tap into the raw potential of some of the most promising avenues of energy generation. For example, a new study from researchers at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology is helping to make it possible for energy generation to literally reach new heights with high-altitude wind farms.
Global climate change is one of the most serious threats with which the whole of humanity has had to contend. Fighting the damage we have done to this planet is going to take a coordinated effort utilizing our collective and complete potential.