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One point ot note is that while France has an excellent wind resource, the offshore bit will not necessarily be as easy as elsewhere, because the seas (other than in the Channel) around France get deeper a lot faster than in the North Sea.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Jan 18th, 2010 at 08:45:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is that true of the Mediterranean as well (though clearly the wind resource in the Mediterranean pales in comparison with that in the Atlantic).

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jan 18th, 2010 at 08:48:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
nresources are obviously not relevant to be represented on the main offshore wind map...

http://www.wind-eole.com/fileadmin/user_upload/Downloads/Offshore/European_Offshore_Wind_Map_2009.pd f (larg-ish pdf)

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Jan 18th, 2010 at 09:29:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually, ther wind resource is rather good in the French Mediteranean:



In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Jan 18th, 2010 at 09:32:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, but the ocean floor doesn't help. On the Atlantic it would, though.

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jan 18th, 2010 at 09:37:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That would be thanks to the Mistral and Tramontane.
I have lived near Marseille a couple of years back: it is a windy country.
by Bernard on Mon Jan 18th, 2010 at 12:06:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I did too, and it makes me wonder if there is such a thing for this as too much windstrength.

When it blows hard, I can't imagine a 80km/h windgust is exploitable. But, maybe it s...

by redstar on Mon Jan 18th, 2010 at 04:16:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The wind resource is great. The difficulty onshore is to find locations that don't disturb people, and offshore to find somewhere not too deep and not to close to shore.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Jan 18th, 2010 at 04:30:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In fact it looks like the French Atlantic coast should support offshore wind just like the North Sea, unlike the Mediterranean basis or, curiously, the Iberian Peninsula's Atlantic coast.

(source: US Geological Service bathymetry map for Europe)

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jan 18th, 2010 at 09:34:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm still looking for a better map, because there's a rather big difference for offshore wind between 20-40m depths and 50-100m depths...

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Jan 18th, 2010 at 09:55:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Google is my friend. Let's see...

From ifremer.fr:
*Morpho-bathymétrie de la Méditerranée Occidentale


*North-East Atlantic

From PlanetaryVisions.com.

From JustMagic.com: Google Ocean - LOL

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jan 18th, 2010 at 10:09:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's still a 100m resolution.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Jan 18th, 2010 at 10:18:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think that's it for quick google searches for public domain data. I don't know whether this is any better.

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jan 18th, 2010 at 10:21:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Here is a 10m-resolution map of the Mediterranean coast of France. Doesn't seem good: a rather steady fall to about 100m depth right from the shore, no plateaus higher than -100m. So off-shore wind would be possible only in the nearest band beyond the shore.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Jan 18th, 2010 at 01:51:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This map is a perfect example of why offshore wind is such a good fit for the North and Baltic Seas.  The largest pool table in the world.

While the US has three very long coasts, much of it is similar to this section of France, and is the reason why current offshore wind may be limited there.  The difference is the US has a Saudi Arabia worth of undeveloped onshore, even if that entails significant transmission cabling and costs.

Another possibility looms in the near future.  Floating designs are already being tested, and more are on the drawing boards.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Mon Jan 18th, 2010 at 02:17:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Crazy Horse:
Another possibility looms in the near future.  Floating designs are already being tested, and more are on the drawing boards.

Could these floating designs also incorporate wavebob technology to create combined wind and wave power generators?

notes from no w here

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Jan 18th, 2010 at 02:59:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not familiar with this technology, even after checking the website, but it's doubtful it would be used on a stationary or floating foundation, as the wind turbines need to remain relatively stable.  A site electrical grid could possible be used together, if the power is compatible.

What an involved way of saying i don't really know.  But the reasons for doubt must be addressed.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Mon Jan 18th, 2010 at 03:33:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The submarine canyons visible on that map are magnificently displayed - a perfect example to show that rivers don't always stop at the shore.
by Nomad on Mon Jan 18th, 2010 at 04:23:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Isn't that particularly the case in the Meditterannea where the shore was much, much farther a few millions years ago ? Those canyons were dug by rivers before the shore, if I remember correctly.

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Tue Jan 19th, 2010 at 03:23:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's indeed thought that many of the dramatic Meditteranean submarine canyons were largely shaped through intensified river erosion, because of the Messinian salinity crisis, some 5-6 million years ago - whereas the erosional forces of rivers are thought not to have been as dramatic for the rest of the world.
by Nomad on Tue Jan 19th, 2010 at 03:50:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And purely on economic grounds, they are correct to reject it - Offshore wind is a lot more expensive to build than on-shore wind, and the increased capacity factors do not, at the current state of the art, make up for this. Which means, that for a country willing to build new nuclear capacity, any ventures into offshore wind would plain and simply cost to much.  Never mind anything else, the price per kwh is just too high. It will likely come down, but whether it will come down faster than on-shore wind (unlikely), or hell, nuclear (well, I expect the price on reactors to come down. I have trouble convincing people of this) is an open question.
by Thomas on Mon Jan 18th, 2010 at 07:26:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
French accounting for nuclear costs is, creative.
by rootless2 on Mon Jan 18th, 2010 at 09:21:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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