Research from Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology and University of Tokyo are revealing alternate designs from the typical vertical-style of offshore wind installations. Instead, using different types of floating platforms and turbines, researchers believe they can reduce the costs of installing Offshore Wind by roughly 50%. Additionally, researchers believe the cost of generating the electricity would be further reduced by a quarter.
Lately Japan has increased R&D into wind resources due to its slow departure from Nuclear as a primary source of energy and its abundance of offshore potential. Of course more research is needed, especially due to the alternate turbine system used which is a significant departure from the typical onshore design.
If further breakthroughs continue, the US can use similar methods on its own offshore projects that are currently sitting on the back-burner. With new developments making wind more economical compared to contemporary sources, current sidelined firms will see their projects turn a positive Rate of Return. This will be a boon to the industry given the the uncertain regulatory environment created by the federal government.
Source: Clean Technica (http://s.tt/150YO)