A development in wind energy technology towards higher nominal power of the wind turbines is related to the shift of the turbines to better wind conditions. After the shift from onshore to offshore areas, there has been an effort to move further from the sea coast to the deep water areas, which requires floating windmills. Such a concept brings additional environmental impact through higher material demand. To evaluate additional environmental burdens and to find out whether they can be rebalanced or even offset by better wind conditions, a prospective life cycle assessment (LCA) study of one floating concept has been performed and the results are presented in this paper. A comparison with existing LCA studies of conventional offshore wind power and electricity from a natural gas combined cycle is presented. The results indicate similar environmental impacts of electricity production using floating wind power plants as using non-floating offshore wind power plants. The most important stage in the life cycle of the wind power plants is the production of materials. Credits that are connected to recycling these materials at the end-of-life of the power plant are substantial.
Life cycle assessment of a floating offshore wind turbine
Title: Life cycle assessment of a floating offshore wind turbine
March 01, 2009
Journal: Renewable Energy
Publisher: Elsevier Ltd.
Weinzettel, J.; Reenaas, M.; Solli, C.; Hertwich, E. (2009). Life cycle assessment of a floating offshore wind turbine. Renewable Energy, 34(3), 742-747.