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Wind at sea: what are we talking about?  – Wind power at sea: how does it work?

Saint-Brieuc is not the only offshore wind farm to come to France. While the costarmorican site of 62 wind turbines spanning 75 km2
began on Monday, elsewhere in the country, all along the Atlantic coast but also in the Mediterranean Sea, ten other projects are also underway.

Sea winds, stronger and more regular than winds on land, allow wind turbines to produce more energy. The park of Saint-Brieuc will be able to supply electricity to 800,000 people by producing a maximum of 496 MW (MegaWatts).

46 wind turbines should also be commissioned by 2027 off Dunkirk (North) with a maximum energy production capacity of 600 MW, equivalent to the electricity consumption of one million inhabitants . Wind turbines should also come out of the water near the island of Yeu-Noirmoutier (Vendée), Saint-Nazaire (44), or even Gruissan and Leucate (Aude) in the Mediterranean Sea.

(The Telegram / Chloé Richard)

The objective of all these projects is to produce up to 5 GW (GigaWatts), or 5,000 MW, by 2028. “By comparison, the Flamanville nuclear power plant has an installed capacity of 2, 6 GW, that of Paluel of 5.2 GW ”, indicates the Ministry of Ecology on his site.

As recalled the Renewable Energies Union (SER) on one of its pages, “for 15 years, offshore wind energy has undergone considerable development in Europe, which has led to a very sharp reduction in the costs of the sector, which has now become one of the most competitive on the market”.

After the Fukushima accident in March 2011, nuclear has gone from 123 dollars per MGh (MegaWatts per hour) to 163 dollars according to figures from the American bank Lazard. According to strategic research provider BloombergNEF, in 2019 the price of offshore wind power fell by a third to $ 78 / MGh.

The United Kingdom in the lead in Europe

If France is starting its first wind turbine projects at sea, elsewhere in Europe and in the world, these famous marine parks which operate with the wind, already exist. The first offshore wind farm to see the light of day is located in Vindeby, Denmark. It was in 1991.

Globally today, marine wind turbines produce 35 GW of energy – including 25 GW in Europe – which represents less than 1% of total energy production. More than 75% of this energy produced offshore comes from three countries: the United Kingdom leads with 29%, followed by China (28%) and Germany with 22%.

The largest offshore wind farm is located off the coast of England. This is the Hornsea Project One, with a maximum power generation capacity of 1.2 GW. But the United Kingdom does not stop there and plans to open a new park, much more powerful: the Dogger Bank, located off Yorkshire, and which plans to produce up to 4.8 GW of energy.
A little further and a little further south, Taiwan plans to develop its 2.4 GW wind farm. In this race for wind turbines at sea, France seems to be lagging behind.

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