It sounds like science fiction, but Britain’s homes could soon be powered by windfarms deep in the North Sea – surrounding an artificial island.
The plan, drawn up by Dutch power company TenneT, would see an artificial island working as a huge ‘hub’ for floating windfarms, with cables bringing electricity to shore.
One of the potential locations for the farm is Dogger Bank, just off the Yorkshire coast – which is suitable as it’s windy and shallow.
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The island would need to be two square miles, the electricity company has said.
TenneT claims that the proposal – which would see electricity sent over long-distance cables to Britain and the Netherlands – is much cheaper than current options.
Offshore wind farms currently rely on extremely expensive cables – and Tennet argues that an artificial island surrounded by several farms could be cheaper.
Rob van der Hage of Tennet says, ‘t’s crucial for industry to continue with the cost reduction path.
‘The big challenge we are facing towards 2030 and 2050 is onshore wind is hampered by local opposition and nearshore is nearly full. It’s logical we are looking at areas further offshore.’
‘Is it difficult? In the Netherlands, when we see a piece of water we want to build islands or land. We’ve been doing that for centuries. That is not the biggest challenge.’