Denmark is launching the world’s biggest offshore wind farm this week. Using 91 turbines across 35 square kilometers, the Horns Rev 2 farm, built by Danish utility company Dong Energy, will be able to produce 209 megawatts of power – enough for roughly 200,000 homes by their own estimates.
Horns Rev isn’t cheap, with a price tag of $1 billion. But the project could offset some serious carbon emissions and help Europe achieve its goal of getting 20% of its power from renewable sources by 2020. If offshore wind projects continue, the European Wind Energy Association predicts that offshore turbines could produce as much as 10% of the EU’s power in the next 11 years.
The US has been reluctant to get on board with offshore wind power, mostly because of the increased cost of offshore energy, maintenance concerns, and naysayers who think the turbines are unsightly. But with Europe expecting offshore wind to provide up to 200,000 new jobs by 2025, perhaps the US should think twice before dismissing the technology.