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      Mapping the future of offshore wind farming

      Science Impact, Ltd.

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          Offshore wind farming is a growing presence in the renewable energy landscape but these ambitious projects rely on precise assessments of the hard to observe underwater landscape they will occupy before construction can even begin. Many governments around the world are moving toward renewable energy sources to meet their countries energy demands. The reasons behind this are many, ranging from reducing emissions to the safety of nuclear reactors and waste. For countries lying on or near fault lines, such as Taiwan, the latter becomes an even greater concern. When the earth shakes nuclear power plants, in particular, are highly sensitive and susceptible pieces of infrastructure. To avoid potential catastrophe and achieve greener energy sources the current government in Taiwan is aiming to phase out nuclear power in the coming years and they have chosen wind power as the technology to replace a large portion of the energy supply. In Taiwan the plan to phase of nuclear power and replace it with wind power has one extra challenge. The plan is not to build on land, like the majority of wind turbine projects, but rather to head out to sea. Offshore wind farms (OWF) are becoming a larger part of the wind power market and European countries have mostly been the early adopters. The waters off Taiwan, in the Taiwan Strait, are attractive for offshore wind farming development due to the favourable wind patterns that occur there. This has drawn major interest from European companies and others around the world to place bids on the growing number of wind farming projects. However, before any of these projects can take place an extensive effort to understand more about the environments below the surface must first be completed. Fortunately for those individuals who are curious as to the make-up and appearance of the ocean floor, such as engineers who plan to construct permanent structures in the depths, many techniques to map the seabed have been developed. Dr Gwo-Shyh Song, from The Institute of Oceanography at The National Taiwan University, in Taipei, is one local researcher who is very familiar with these methods. 'I have been working on seafloor mapping around the Taiwan Island for last 20 years,' points out Song. 'This includes geophysical surveys, reservoir siltation surveys, cable and pipeline route surveys using a variety of techniques like multi-beam sounders and side-scan sonar as well as chirp sub-bottom profilers. 'When the offshore wind farming initiative needed experienced local researchers, he was one of a few people with the prerequisite expertise and technical skill required. 'In 2012, when the OWF project was set into action and promoted by the Taiwanese Government, myself and my graduated students now employed within Global Aqua Survey Ltd started to become involved with many related investigatory projects,' he explains.

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          Science Impact, Ltd.
          December 20 2019
          December 20 2019
          : 2019
          : 9
          : 12-14
          © 2019

          This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

          Earth & Environmental sciences,Medicine,Computer science,Agriculture,Engineering
          Earth & Environmental sciences, Medicine, Computer science, Agriculture, Engineering


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