As the world’s population grows and becomes more technologically advanced we demand more and more energy to meet our needs. Today, most of our energy comes from burning fossil fuels: coal, oil and gas deposits which took many millennia to form will be consumed in just a few centuries. Burning these fossil fuels releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. This warms our planet causing droughts, floods and other extreme weather events.
The challenge we face is to find clean, sustainable alternatives to fossil fuels. We need alternative energy sources which cannot be used up and whose use does not cause climate change. To create a sustainable future our entire energy generation industry must change from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources – the sun, wind, waves and tides. Immense challenges and opportunities lie ahead as
the global energy industry makes this change to clean, sustainable generation.
The Offshore Resource
The renewable energy resources of our planet are vast and as yet almost entirely untapped. This particularly applies to the offshore resource – wind, waves and tides.
The global offshore wind resource alone could easily meet electricity demand several times over. For instance, the offshore resource in shallow waters off the East coast of the USA could meet the electricity demand of its Atlantic states four times over. The global wave resource is estimated at up to 80,000TWh which is also several times larger than global electricity demand.
For islands and coastal nations, exploiting these plentiful offshore resources will be a vital part of the change to clean, sustainable energy generation.