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China Building World’s Largest Offshore Wind Farm — 43.3 Gigawatts

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Chaozhou — a city in China’s Guangdong province — has revealed ambitious plans for a 43.3 gigawatt facility in the Taiwan Strait. Operating between 75 and 185 kilometers off the coast of Chiuna, the new offshore wind farm will be 10 kilometers long and feature thousands of powerful turbines. Because the location is unusually windy location, the turbines will be able to generate electricity between 43 and 49% of the time.

Work on the project will start before 2025, according to Euronews Green. Once completed, it will eclipse the world’s current largest wind farm — the Jiuquan Wind Power facility that is also in China and which has a capacity of 20 gigawatts. According to EVWind, China unveiled the world’s largest wind turbine last week. It has a record-breaking rotor diameter of 252 meters (827 feet) and is capable of producing 13.6 megawatts of electricity. There is no word on how much this super sized facility will cost.

How Much Is 43.3 Gigawatts Of Wind Energy?

A gigawatt is one billion watts and it takes around 3 million solar panels to generate one gigawatt of power, according to Euronews Green. One gigawatt could power 100 million LEDs, or 300,000 average European homes. Therefore, China’s new facility will be capable of powering 4.3 billion LED lights or 13 million homes. To put that in some perspective, Norway has 31 gigawatts of generating capacity — 99% of it from hydro power. That’s less than the new offshore wind farm will provide.

At the end of 2021, the world’s total onshore and offshore wind power capacity exceeded 830 GW. China accounts for more than half of that total. It has added more offshore wind generation capacity than every other country in the world over the last five years and plans to generate a third of its electricity from renewables by 2025.

Overall, China’s net zero goal is still quite far in the distance, however. The country does not expect its energy supply to hit net zero before 2060. “We will work actively and prudently toward the goals of reaching peak carbon emissions and carbon neutrality,” President Xi Jinping told the party Congress on 16 October. “Based on China’s energy and resource endowments, we will advance initiatives to reach peak carbon emissions in a well-planned and phased way, in line with the principle of getting the new before discarding the old.”

Offshore wind energy is attracting massive investments in the US and the UK, as well as Finland, Sweden, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and Denmark.

The Takeaway On China’s New Offshore Wind Farm

All this is very good news for wind energy advocates. However, there is one dark cloud in the picture. According to Wikipedia, the Formosa Strait is 180 kilometers wide. The city of Chaozhou says its new wind farm will extend 185 kilometers offshore. You don’t have to be a mathematician to figure out there is a problem with this scenario.

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Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his home in Florida or anywhere else The Force may lead him. He is proud to be "woke" and doesn't really give a damn why the glass broke. He believes passionately in what Socrates said 3000 years ago: "The secret to change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new."


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