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Giant Turbines Becoming the Norm in the Wind Industry

  • Larger wind turbines helping to boost capacities in offshore wind farms
  • Giant structures better able to capture winds, but create more logistical challenges
  • Biden administration has set goal for major expansion of offshore wind by 2030

Summary by Dirk Langeveld

As wind power developments accelerate around the world, more companies are debuting enormous turbines that can greatly increase the capacity of offshore installations.

The average capacity of offshore turbines installed in 2020 was 8.2 megawatts, a year-over-year increase of 5 percent. However, the increasing prevalence of larger turbines allows for much greater power generation. General Electric’s Haliade-X turbine will be able to provide up to 14 megawatts, and several other companies have debuted designs for larger turbines with similar heightened capacities.

Industry experts say turbines are likely to grow even taller in the coming years, and that the massive structures are better able to capture faster winds. However, they do create logistical challenges when it comes to transporting towers and blades.

The Biden administration has set the goal of increasing offshore wind capacity in the United States to 30 gigawatts by 2030. The Global Wind Energy Council found that 93 gigawatts of new capacity were installed worldwide in 2020, a boost of more than 50 percent from 2019.

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