Onshore vs Offshore Wind: Which is Better?

There has been a lot of debate about the advantages and disadvantages of onshore and offshore wind farms. Which is better for the environment, cost-effective, and produces more energy? This blog post will explore the pros and cons of both types of wind farms.

Size of wind turbines

Offshore vs onshore wind turbines size
Offshore vs. onshore wind turbines’ size by Joachim Seel

Offshore wind turbines are typically much larger than onshore turbines. The average offshore turbine is about twice the height of an onshore turbine, with some even reaching heights of over 600 feet!

This is because offshore winds blow harder and steadier than onshore winds so that larger turbines can take advantage of this.

In the case of onshore wind turbines, there are a lot of obstacles that can get in the way of the wind, such as trees, buildings, and hills, making the wind comparatively weaker.

Energy production

Offshore wind turbines energy production
Offshore wind turbines’ energy production by CleanEnergyWire

Offshore wind farms generally produce more energy than onshore wind farms. This is because offshore winds are stronger and steadier than onshore winds, allowing the turbines to spin faster and generate more electricity.

Offshore wind farms also have the potential to produce more energy than onshore wind farms since they can take advantage of much larger turbines.

Land use

Onshore wind turbines' land use
Onshore wind turbines’ land use

Offshore turbines need to be placed far away from shore to avoid interference from boats and other objects, which means more space is required to install them.

However, this is not a problem since they are installed in the ocean or seas with plenty of space!

On the other hand, onshore turbines need to be placed on land, sometimes relatively expensive and difficult to find.

Visual Impact

Onshore Wind Turbines' Visual Impact
Onshore Wind Turbines’ Visual Impact by BLM

Offshore wind farms are built far away from shore, so they are not as visible from land.

This means that they have minimal visual impact and do not spoil the landscape’s natural beauty.

On the other hand, onshore wind farms are typically built near cities and towns.

While some people think that onshore wind farms are unsightly, others find them beautiful. Some tourists spend money to visit onshore wind farms to see them!

Noise Pollution

Onshore wind turbines noise pollution
Onshore wind turbines’ noise pollution by LetsGoSolar

Offshore wind turbines are built far away from shore, so the sound of their blades spinning doesn’t affect people who live near the coast. However, they create underwater noise that can be disruptive to marine life.

On the other hand, onshore turbines are often built near residential areas. As a result, the noise from the blades can be noisy and disturb the peace of nearby residents.

Environment Impact

Wind turbines environmental impact
Wind turbines’ environmental impact by BBC

Offshore wind farms have less impact on the environment than onshore wind farms.

This is because they are built far away from shore, so they do not affect the wildlife or ecosystems near the coast. However, they still have an impact on marine life.

On the other hand, onshore wind farms disturb the wildlife near them and affect the local ecosystem.


Offshore wind turbines' cost
Offshore wind turbines’ cost by WeatherGuardWind

Offshore wind farms are generally more expensive to build than onshore wind farms.

This is because they require specialized equipment and infrastructure that can withstand the harsh conditions of the ocean, such as strong winds and waves.

Additionally, you need to build a transmission line to connect the offshore wind farm to the grid, which can be very costly.

On the other hand, onshore wind farms are much cheaper to build.

This is because they are often built near you can use existing infrastructures, such as roads and transmission lines, to connect them to the grid.

  • Nichole Hutt

    Hi, I'm Nichole! 👋
    I always felt close to nature during my childhood. Preferring to spend my time alone playing with backyard animals at my family farm. 🐷
    In 1997, I attained my electrical engineering degree at the Oregon Institute Of Technology, graduating top of my class. Several years later, I qualified for my M.S. in Renewable Energy Engineering, also at OIT. 🎓

    Combining my love for nature and passion for engineering, I have worked for solar panel manufacturer's in my state, most notably as a PV solar engineer for Zamp Solar.

    I founded RenewableSystems to share my knowledge and expertise in the renewable energy field and help save this beautiful little planet of ours. ☀️🌎

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