Natural Gas Turbines Revolutionizing International Energy Sector

Natural Gas Turbines Revolutionizing International Energy Sector

In 2016, the United States was the largest producer of natural gas worldwide, extracting nearly 750 billion cubic meters of natural gas. A large part of that natural gas generation is the overall mass production from natural gas turbines and other major power plant pieces of equipment.

Across the country and the world, natural gas turbines have been working hard to produce greater amounts of this powerful form of energy, specifically focusing on the 95,471 miles of U.S. shoreline. And the need for oceanic and shore-based turbines certainly isn’t going anywhere.

According to, plans for using submerged gas turbines in Japan could actually replace up to 10 nuclear reactors.

Researchers from the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) have developed turbines that can convert the power of oceanic waves into clean and renewable energy. The vigor of the ocean’s waves at the shoreline plays a major role in developing this quality type of energy.

“Particularly in Japan, if you go around the beach you’ll find many tetrapods,” said Professor Shintake of the OIST. “Surprisingly, 30% of the seashore in mainland Japan is covered with tetrapods and wave breakers.”

Replacing those structures with attached turbines would generate quality energy and protect the shoreline.

“Using just 1% of the season of mainland Japan can [generate] about 10 gigots [of energy], which is equivalent to 10 nuclear power plants,” added Professor Shintake. “That’s huge.”

Similarly, on the West Coast of the U.S., decreasing energy costs, improved public policies, and innovative turbine technology is providing much-needed assistance to the offshore market across California.

According to MIT Technology Review, natural gas turbines that were shut down in 2014 could offer some positive help for the future of California’s energy production. Thanks to a Seattle startup company, the world’s largest floating offshore turbine setup could produce as much as one gigawatt of electricity into California’s energy grid.

The floating offshore wind farm is being proposed to sit on a site that would actor between 60 and 100 gas turbines.

“This is the future of offshore wind,” said Alla Weinstein, a longtime engineer who has founded three renewable energy startup, including Trident Winds, which proposed the project.

An assessment last year by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory estimated that offshore wind farms across California could actually produce 112 gigawatts, most of it in waters of 200 feet deep or deeper.

Additionally, on the other side of the country, another new natural gas-fired turbine plant just won the approval of a state regularly panel, taking a major step forward for East Coast energy production.

According to The Sandwich Enterprise, the Massachusetts Energy Facilities Siting Board cast the unanimous vote of approval. The proposed 350-megawatt gas-fired turbine project, dubbed the Canal 3 project, would produce additional power capacity to Massachusetts and Rhode Island in order to meet energy demands during peak times.

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