Floating wind farms to be developed as part of government-backed research

Floating wind farms that promise to solve the problem of unsightly turbines on land are being developed as part of a Government-backed scheme to find a low cost green technology for the future.

The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI), a partnership between global industries and the UK Government to develop renewables like wind and solar, has announced £20 million for its first four projects.

Two of the projects will look at the structure of wind turbines to see if there are ways to improve efficiency while a third will look at tidal power.

The fourth project, supported by a number of multinational companies including defence company BAE Systems, is looking at floating wind farms.

At the moment wind farms are usually sited at depths of up to 30m before it becomes difficult to build a standing structure.

Floating wind farmUsing technology from the oil and gas sector, where floating rigs are commonly used, the research hopes to develop wind turbines to float at a depth of up to 300m where there are high wind speeds and the structures cannot be seen onshore.

Up to £1.1 billion could be invested researching renewables as part of the ETI initiative.

Lord Hunt, minister for sustainable development and energy innovation, said: "The UK has pledged to increase dramatically our use of renewable energy to further secure our energy supplies and help fight the damaging effects of climate change.

"In order to meet these challenges we need to turn the best innovative ideas in wind and marine power into reality."

Source: www.telegraph.co.uk