Offshore wind energy has become a thriving industry in many countries with long coastlines and shallow waters. However, as today's offshore wind turbines are restricted to waters less than 50 meters deep, not all countries can utilize the favorable offshore winds due to scarcity of suitable shallow water. Floating offshore wind turbines present a solution to this challenge. Kept in position by a mooring system rather than being rooted to the seabed, they allow access to deep-water sites – and with it access to new markets.
The advantages of floating wind energy are many. Most importantly, winds speeds can be faster and more consistent farther from shore. This means floating offshore wind farms can produce more energy. Secondly, more countries with limited coastlines for bottom-fixed turbines can deploy large-scale floating offshore wind energy. In addition, the location of floating wind farms farther from shore may also draw less opposition from residents living along the coast.