How many offshore wind turbines does it take to power the world's major cities?
Renewable energy has become a crucial tool in the race against global warming.
By 2040, it’s forecast that over a third of global power will come from renewable sources such as wind and solar, according to a report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
Researchers suggest that wind farms could potentially produce 40 times the electricity the world consumers, so why do they lag behind, providing just 4% of the world’s energy.
With demand for electricity growing, just how much, or how little, space is needed to supply some of the world’s biggest city’s with wind energy?
- Alliant Energy to invest $1.8 billion into Iowa by 2020
- Acciona Energia to build 46-turbine wind farm in Texas
- The world’s most powerful 8.8MW turbine has been installed in Aberdeen Bay
Known for its neon lights and technological innovation Tokyo, Japan, tops the leaderboard requiring 10,620.5 km2 of offshore turbines to power the city, according to a report published by RS Components.
The Japanese capital is followed by New York City, USA, and Seoul, South Korea, who require 3,797.8 km2 and 3,752.9 km2 respectively.
The electric company’s data also suggests that Seoul is the most power hungry city in the world.
According to the report, it would take over 6 times the size of Seoul's city area in offshore wind turbines to meet the city’s electricity usage.
Another Asian giant is just as power hungry.
With 37.8million people using 296,231,544 MWh annually, Tokyo, Japan, would need 10,310 turbines taking up 10,620.5 km2 of offshore space, according to the report.
Conversely, the Spanish capital of Barcelona requires the smallest area of offshore turbines to match the city’s power usage, with 299km2 needed.
Energy consumption of each city was calculated using the population of the city as well as the per capita consumption of the country, whether that city is located, according to the International Energy Agency.
Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition
The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.
The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).
This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.
In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.
The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.