The fragile bet of offshore wind power
“When you get close, the gigantic nature of the machinery in preparation suddenly becomes apparent. An 81-metre blade is stretched out alongside the factory, while employees who appear microscopic beside it prepare to move it. It will take over an hour to move this monster of balsa wood, fibreglass and resin. The interior may be hollow, and the walls no more than twenty centimetres high, but the whole thing weighs 35 tonnes. Every week, about ten of them leave the Siemens Gamesa factory, a Spanish company in joint venture with the German Siemens.
It is located in Hull, in the North East of England, on a harbour on the Humber Estuary, close to the sea. It is impossible to transport such giants other than by sea. Soon, three similar blades and a giant metal tower will be put on a boat, to be assembled in the open sea, more than 100 kilometres from the coast. Once assembled, the gigantic wind turbine will be 204 metres high, the equivalent of the Montparnasse Tower…”