Offshore Wind Energy
(Facts and Features, Usage, Future Prospects, Strengths and Weaknesses, Recommendations)
It is an undeniable fact that human activity needs energy as a basic requirement. Energy input is a fundamental need for transportation, water and food provision and mobility services. In the contemporary energy system, non-renewable fossil fuels are the principal resources that satisfy the global energy needs. They are preferred due to their dependability and low-cost. On the contrary, wind energy, hydroelectric power and biomass are also used as energy resources all over the world, especially in developing countries (Edinger & Kaul, 2003, p. 43).
The exchange of goods and energy has become an imperative process as globalization has been pursued trendily. This trade guarantees efficient production and advantageous exploitation of proportional costs. On the other hand, the need for energy in the developing countries is increased continuously as they put efforts to strengthen their industries and improve their living standard. Consequently, the switching over of these countries from energy exporters to energy importers means the lessening of the fuel and raw material exporter countries. This is a critical situation as not all countries could ever be the ones importing and not exporting energy. The primary basis of our current energy system is the inadequate fossil fuels. It is undeniably based on fact that the trend toward global economic growth will surely and necessarily compel the countries to use economic and political pressure. This pressure will assist them to protect their energy sources. Moreover, they will be in a state to safeguard their position and condition as net-importers of energy (Edinger & Kaul, 2003, p. 48-49).
The present era we are breathing in is one in which our energy requirements have caused a constant reduction and exhaustion of energy resources. This energy consumption has done a great damage to the environment never witnessed before. Unfortunately, human beings are continuing to live and operate blindly as if this situation is normal and we have infinite energy resources available. We have closed our eyes to the fact that the depletion of energy resources and constant energy utilization has brought us to an edge of great environmental damage. Though, in today’s world, the availability of technical and political alternatives is unbounded but still no policy decisions have been made and no plans have been derived to ensure a sustainable future. We are in great need of energy policies that answer all our queries regarding the compatibility and well-suited nature of energy systems, resources and the environment (Williams & Uqaili, 1999, p. 59).
It is natural that every country has difference in the availability and contribution of energy sources. The main factors of this difference are the nature and amount of available natural resources, the complexity of technology used for generation and utilization of energy and geographical locations as far as oil and gas are concerned (Williams & Uqaili, 1999, p. 61). It is a global acknowledgment that the importance of energy determines the excellence, standard and quality of life. The majority of nations who have achieved an exceptional improvement in their living standards are the ones who exploited and grew their energy demands (Williams & Uqaili, 1999, p. 60).
However, the increase in energy consumption has given rise to a number of environmental issues. According to the common man, decision makers and experts worldwide, sustainable development and sustainable protection of the environment are the most critical and concern concerns in today’s world. Sustainable development is highly imperative to ponder over as it guarantees safe and sound supplies of energy at competitive prices with least inauspicious and critical ecological impact. Here, it does not mean that economic development has t be reduced. Conversely, a healthy economy ensures the superior and better ability to spawn the resources so as to meet people’s demand, requirements and needs. Environmental development and improvement is interrelated with the new investment. Optimized energy tactics and pollution control systems are increasingly important and are the need of the hour (Williams & Uqaili, 1999, p. 61).
There is an agreement on the notion that the speediness of technological change should be well matched with the rising concern for environmental change. This is especially needed when the energy requirements are observed. Major instabilities and vacillations have been suffered by the globally increasing energy consumption rate although it has been positively affected by political and industrial changes. It is an astounding fact that developing countries have a much higher rate of faster energy consumption as compared to the industrialized countries who are the largest energy consumers. Crude oil, coal and natural gas are likely to be exhausted sooner or later. Reason of the exhaustion of these energy resources is the fact that some major fields will surpass their peak production levels shortly (Williams & Uqaili, 1999, p. 59). Thus, it makes us think that the ultimate solution for satisfying the ever-growing demand of energy may be lies in the development, generation and consumption of renewable energy resources that have no danger of shortage and are also not the contributing causes in environmental damage.
Creating the Wind Energy Industry as a center of attention for more investment
Purpose of the Study
The Wind Energy industry is well thought-out to be a highly unstable industry internationally. This volatility for higher profits means that there is a high risk to invest money in this particular industry. Thus, this unpredictability puts a stop for angel investors and venture capitalists to invest capital in the wind energy industry. This research will reveal the factors that make the offshore wind energy industry a highly volatile industry in countries (Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Qatar, and United Arab Emirates) located on the Persian Gulf. The mentioned countries depend on conservative energy resources i.e. crude oil and natural gas. However, those conventional resources will run out in the near future. Thus, it is the need of the time to make it certain that renewable resources must become available and developed to reduce the consumption of conventional energy resources. They could most probably swap the non-renewable energy resources in the future. Regrettably, the countries on the Persian Gulf have deferred their consideration, evaluation and estimation of renewable energy. Therefore, this thesis would make suitable recommendations to attract investors for the growth of wind energy industry in the above mentioned countries.
Significance of the Study
The projected research holds significance it tries to find out the current status of wind energy usage and predict the future of wind energy usage across North America, Europe and rest of the world. The research will be a comprehensive study of new technologies and trends that shatters the long-established parables of only using large wind mills in farm lands. This will help the reader to understand the new technological advancements presently prevailing in the wind energy industry. The research will also study potentials and disadvantages that companies and governments across the globe are facing with regard to using offshore wind energy. Readers will be able to identify the advantages of renewable wind energy in contrast with the non-renewable oil and natural gas resources. This research will document the findings and put forward recommendations for governments and companies in order to attract more investment into the wind energy industry which has an immense potential for development and expansion.
Rationale and Scope of the Study
This research is intended to explain the wind energy/power as a significant means of fulfillment of ever-increasing energy demands. Renewable wind power, if developed in the Persian Gulf countries, would help them to be self-sufficient in the achievement of locally produced energy. The oil and gas resources will soon deplete in the said parts of the world. These countries would be able to obtain energy locally and would be able to become energy exporters everlastingly if they provide capital to be used up in the wind energy sector. The research, thus, proposes ideas and recommendations to attract investors for spending money in wind energy industries.
This research will deal with offshore wind energy development possibilities in the countries located on the Persian Gulf. Recommendations and suggestions will be given keeping in mind the status of energy consumption and the future prospects in the same countries only; not for other parts of the world. However, the research is conducted on the basis of the number of site locations required for the investigation purpose.
Overview of the Paper
In this chapter, we will discuss the potential of wind energy industry; its usage, strong and weak features and future prospects. We will be studying about the factors that make this industry highly unpredictable but at the same time, highly advantageous for meeting energy demands. Recommendations would be given at the end for the investors so that they may be attracted towards investing in the highly profitable industry.
Terms of Reference
1. Renewable or Alternative Energy: “any energy resource that is naturally regenerated over a short time scale and either derived directly from solar energy (solar thermal, photochemical and photoelectric), indirectly…