South Korea just announced the investment of $8.2 billion to build a gigantic 2,500 MW offshore wind farm, according to Wind Daily. It is part of a $36 billion investment to meet its targeted greenhouse gas reduction pledged after the Copenhagen Climate Accord.
At 2,500 MW, this simply dwarfs current offshore wind farms. Europe, the current world leader, now has offshore wind farms that are in the 300 – 400 MW range.
It is even more than twice the size of China’s recently announced gigantic 1,000 MW off-shore wind farm which holds the current world record for the largest planned offshore wind farm.
South Korea pledged a 30% reduction in greenhouse gases by 2020. To meet the target, it plans a total investment of $36 billion over the next five years.
The tiny but energy-intensive nation will spend the money in a public/private partnership to develop renewable energy sources to replace the oil and gas it now uses in electricity generation. The offshore wind farm is part of that at $8.2 billion.
The first step in the offshore wind farm will be the construction of a “proving area” by 2013 to test the first 20 of the 5 megawatt turbines that will be used throughout. Assuming all goes well, by 2016 it will comprise 900 MW, with 180 turbines. The final 300 turbines will be installed by 2019 to complete the 2,500 MW farm.
The nation’s first renewable energy standard was announced in September. It requires that large electric utilities (that supply more than 500 megawatts per hour) must source at least 10% of their electricity from renewable energy, like solar and wind, by 2022.
The US also just approved plans for its first offshore wind farm off the Massachusetts coast. Cape Wind will be a 300 MW farm and will use smaller 3.5 MW turbines supplied by the German company Siemens.
European companies rose to pre eminence in turbine production as a result of the EU-approved Kyoto Accord which phased in cap and trade legislation to reduce greenhouse gases by adopting and developing more renewable power.
[Update: correction. The UK plans a 10 times larger total of offshore wind projects by 2020 of 25,000 MW]