The world’s biggest wind turbine, seven times the height of Nelson’s Column, is being developed with £25 million funding from the European Union.
Scientists claim a single super turbine would be capable of providing electricity for a year for between 15,000 and 20,000 households.
Its blades would each be about 410ft long and sit on a tower up to 700ft high, making the structure, from base to the tips of the blades, about 1,100ft high, taller than The Shard in London, western Europe’s tallest building.
The project was approved by the EU at the end of last year. It will run for five years.
Peter Hjuler Jensen of the Technical University of Denmark, the project’s coordinator, said: “This is something we will see in the coming years. Everybody would like these to be built within 10 years.”
Mr Jensen said it is most likely the turbines would be built at sea and require new techniques for building foundations more cheaply. The Great Plains of the US, he suggested, would also be ideal locations.
The biggest wind turbines are currently capable of producing about 8MW using blades about 180ft long.
The Innwind project involves 27 different institutions including scientists at three British universities – Sheffield, Strathclyde and Bristol.
Sceptics say wind turbines are prone to mechanical failure in high winds and rough seas.
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