The V236-15.0 MW wind turbine developed by Vestas is capable of producing 80 GWh of electricity annually; it will not only supply 20,000 households, but also save 38,000 tons of CO2, which is equivalent to the emissions of 25,000 cars. Ahead of the Vestas and European Energy project, a V236-15.0 MW prototype will be installed at the National Large Wind Turbine Test Center in West Jutland, Denmark’s windiest sub-region, in the second half of 2022. A distinctive feature of the V236-15.0 MW will be a record blade rotation area (43.7 thousand square metres), which will make possible electricity generation in a wide range of winds (from 3 to 30 metres per second). The operating temperature range, from minus 10 to plus 25 degrees Celsius, is also significant (at higher values, which are rare in Denmark, a wind turbine efficiency may gradually decrease).
The Vestas and European Energy project is the latest in a series of innovations designed to address the key weakness of the wind power industry, which is very weather-dependable. For example, in the United States, in 2021, the average utilisation of wind turbines was 34.6 percent, while this figure reached 63.5 percent for bioenergy plants and 92.7 percent for nuclear plants, according to the Energy Information Administration of the US Department of Energy (EIA). The use of the offshore vertical turbines developed by the Swedish company SeaTwirl can increase the average utilisation. The above-water part of the wind turbine consists of a static generator body and a rotating “tower” attached to the spacers and vertical rotor blades, while the underwater part consists of an oblong “float” having a jacket with a fixed-ballast at the tip. SeaTwirl plans to build a prototype floating vertical turbine in 2023 and launch it commercially in 2025.
Denmark is the fourth largest producer of offshore wind power. With the installed offshore wind capacity of 2,306 MW, the country is behind the Netherlands (2,460 MW), Germany (7,747 MW) and the UK (12,700 MW). The Danish Energy Agency announced their plans in 2021 concerning construction of a 12-hectare island in the North Sea, which is supposed to receive, store and distribute electricity from wind turbines. The project with a total capacity of 10 GW and the cost of $34 billion will be implemented by 2033. At the same time, by 2050, the Danish authorities are going to expand the island’s infrastructure with electrolysis facilities to produce hydrogen for its subsequent use in transport.