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Dark green electricity comes from the sea: Capitalizing on ecological merits of offshore wind power?

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  • Toonen, Hilde M.
  • Lindeboom, Han J.

Abstract

European consumers are willing to pay more for “green” electricity, as they highly value renewable energy sources for the contribution to combating climate change. There is a push for getting higher levels of sustainability, leading to a differentiation of Europe‘s electricity market. In this differentiation, the large potential of wind energy is recognized. More specifically, North Sea countries prefer to plan wind arrays (far) out at sea. This article offers a review of the main arguments for offshore wind energy, described in comparison with its onshore counterpart. It is stated that offshore wind farms (OWFs) generate “dark green” electricity as they mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to the protection of (some) marine life. Applying an informational governance framework, this article further assesses whether this dark green message has been exploited through further differentiation of the electricity market, and provides an analysis of why this is not (yet) the case. It is concluded that the dominant discourse in onshore wind power development hinders a favorable ecological differentiation toward offshore wind power.

Suggested Citation

  • Toonen, Hilde M. & Lindeboom, Han J., 2015. "Dark green electricity comes from the sea: Capitalizing on ecological merits of offshore wind power?," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 1023-1033.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:rensus:v:42:y:2015:i:c:p:1023-1033
    DOI: 10.1016/j.rser.2014.10.043
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Wilding, Thomas A. & Gill, Andrew B. & Boon, Arjen & Sheehan, Emma & Dauvin, Jean–Claude & Pezy, Jean-Philippe & O’Beirn, Francis & Janas, Urszula & Rostin, Liis & De Mesel, Ilse, 2017. "Turning off the DRIP (‘Data-rich, information-poor’) – rationalising monitoring with a focus on marine renewable energy developments and the benthos," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 848-859.
    2. Poulsen, Thomas & Lema, Rasmus, 2017. "Is the supply chain ready for the green transformation? The case of offshore wind logistics," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 758-771.
    3. Ederer, Nikolaus, 2015. "The market value and impact of offshore wind on the electricity spot market: Evidence from Germany," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 154(C), pages 805-814.
    4. Zhao, Xin-gang & Ren, Ling-zhi, 2015. "Focus on the development of offshore wind power in China: Has the golden period come?," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 644-657.
    5. Zountouridou, E.I. & Kiokes, G.C. & Chakalis, S. & Georgilakis, P.S. & Hatziargyriou, N.D., 2015. "Offshore floating wind parks in the deep waters of Mediterranean Sea," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 433-448.
    6. Abbas Mardani & Dalia Streimikiene & Edmundas Kazimieras Zavadskas & Fausto Cavallaro & Mehrbakhsh Nilashi & Ahmad Jusoh & Habib Zare, 2017. "Application of Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) to Solve Environmental Sustainability Problems: A Comprehensive Review and Meta-Analysis," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(10), pages 1-1, October.

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