Even as more offshore wind projects launch and the turbines they use get bigger, there are questions around offshore wind’s economic viability. Unsurprisingly, hauling huge equipment with multiple moving parts out to deep, windy sections of ocean, setting them up, and building lines to transmit the electricity they generate back to land is expensive. Really expensive. In our profit-driven capitalist economy, companies aren’t going to sink money into technologies that don’t deliver worthwhile returns.
A Swedish energy company called SeaTwirl is flipping the offshore wind model on its head—not quite literally, but almost—and betting it will be able to deliver cheap renewable energy and make a profit along the way. SeaTwirl is one of several companies developing vertical-axis wind turbines, and one of just a couple developing them for offshore use.