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The use of the sea for wind energy projects

Offshore wind has undergone an interesting development over the last decade or so but one cannot say that it was a rapid development. After the construction of the first large (and truly extensive) offshore project at Horns Rev, off the west coast of Jutland, in 2002, offshore wind project development appeared to be on a good course. Germany and the United Kingdom identified considerable potential for offshore projects in their waters and it appeared to be only a question of (little) time before the North Sea would be subject to considerable turbine activity. Alas, these high hopes were only partly met. The United Kingdom has already installed more than 2 gigawatt (GW) of offshore wind capacity and another 2GW have received planning consent and the UK remains by far the largest operator of offshore wind projects worldwide. In contrast, Germany, long thought to be the vanguard of offshore wind, as with onshore wind, has not delivered. The first permit for an offshore project in Germany was issued in November 2001 but, to date, not a single project has been fully commissioned.

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