Offshore Wind Energy in the North Sea

Publication - 1 October, 2000
Technical Possibilities and Ecological Considerations - A Study for Greenpeace.

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Executive summary: For millenia, the North Sea has been has been a body of water connecting ancient civilisations.It has been a rich source of food for all that time; more recently it has become a rich source ofenergy. Every year, hundreds of millions of tonnes of fossil fuel are produced from 400 oil andgas platforms. Now the world is aware that the large amounts of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide released by these fuels is unsustainable. The earth is getting warmer. Melting glaciers,floods and forest fires and more frequent extreme weather events are harbingers of a nearingclimate disaster. However, as this report reveals, the North Sea also holds a vast, but unseen, energy supply which is clean, safe and sustainable. If used wisely, nature´s answer to climate change is on our doorstep.To enable offshore wind-power facilities in the whole of the North Sea to be planned andapproved in an effective and environmentally friendly way, Greenpeace has, in collaboration with the Deutsches Windenergie Institut, devised a way for the requisite environmental impactassessments to be organised. The Institute has compiled information on state-of-the-art technology, the potential for protecting the climate, and the profitability currently attainable.This report has been commissioned by Greenpeace to allow insight into what off-shore wind resources are ready for exploitation with today´s technology and expertise. It has also sought to answer fundamental questions as to how this key sector is developed with minimum harm to the local environment as we fight to save the ecology of the planet as a whole.

Num. pages: 82