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Introduction to Offshore Wind Energy

Learn how we extract energy from wind as you discover the opportunities and impacts of the offshore wind energy industry.

Hywind Scotland, floating wind turbine. Photo by Stig Sørmo, Capit Studio., 8 (Colourbox)

Introduction to Offshore Wind Energy

  • 6 weeks

  • 5 hours per week

  • Digital certificate when eligible

  • Introductory level

Find out more about how to join this course

  • Duration

    6 weeks
  • Weekly study

    5 hours
  • 100% online

    How it works
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    $244.99 for one whole yearLearn more

Gain a solid introduction to offshore wind energy with the University of Bergen

Global investments in offshore wind energy are expected to increase significantly. Therefore, there is a growing need for specific knowledge on the opportunities and challenges in offshore wind.

This six-week course will provide you with a strong foundation of key issues related to the utilisation of offshore wind.

Learning from the experts at The University of Bergen, Norwegian Research Centre (NORCE) and Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (HVL), you’ll finish the course with an understanding of the different perspectives, ambitions, and obstacles within the sector.

Understand how wind turbines operate

You’ll start with an overview of the key components of an offshore wind turbine. Next, you’ll be introduced to the basic aerodynamics of wind turbines, delving into the different components of a wind turbine and the principles used in a rotor blade.

Through this exploration, you’ll understand how we extract energy from wind and how this converts to power.

Explore the societal issues of offshore wind

Next, you’ll look at the industry from a European perspective, focusing on Norway as a world-leader in offshore operations. You’ll dive into the legal framework of offshore wind, including Europe’s ambitions and targets.

Through this exploration, you’ll start to understand the societal issues surrounding offshore wind and how the sector can co-exist with other industries such as aquaculture, marine transport, and tourism.

Understand how offshore wind impacts the marine environment

Finally, you’ll discuss the impacts of offshore wind on the marine environment. You’ll discover how turbines can impact marine life such as marine mammals, fish, and birds.

By the end of the course, you’ll have a solid understanding of the opportunities and challenges of offshore wind energy.


  • Week 1

    Introduction, perspectives and concepts of offshore wind energy

    • Introduction

      Before we start the course, we would like to introduce how the course works and who is contributing. We also encourage you to introduce yourselves. This will make the discussions during the course more fruitful.

    • Perspectives and central concepts

      Offshore wind energy has an important role in making the power system free of fossil fuels. We will look into the international ambitions ahead. We will also address some of the key components of offshore wind turbines as well as

  • Week 2

    How to extract energy from the wind and what is wind?

    • How to extract energy from the wind?

      Wind turbines are converting energy in the air to mechanical energy. In the following lectures we will address how the much energy can be extracted from the wind and how this can be performed by a horizontal axis wind (HAWT).

    • The wind environment

      What is wind, what kind of properties does it have, how can we model and measure it? And how does a wind turbine modify the wind? Such questions are addressed in the following lectures.

  • Week 3

    Wind, wakes and marine ground conditions.

    • Wind measurements and resource assesment

      We continue the lectures on wind, focusing on how wind is modelled and the interaction between the wind and the wind turbines, forming the wakes.

    • The marine ground conditions (and how they are assessed.).

      All offshore wind turbines must be secured to the sea floor, either by a fixed foundation or by anchors and mooring lines. Detailed knowledge about the marine ground conditions is needed to design these constructions.

  • Week 4

    Legal framework and coexistence

    • Legal framework

      No wind farm can be realized without a proper legal framework for development and power delivery agreements. These issues are addressed in the following.

    • Societal issues and coexistence

      Societal, environmental issues, and coexistence with other users of the sea must be properly accounted for in the development phase of an offshore wind farm.

  • Week 5

    Impacts on the marine environment

    • Impacts on the marine environment

      Societal aspect and co-existence were addressed last week. This week we start up with a continuation of this topic. Next, the impact of offshore wind farms on the marine environment will be addressed.

  • Week 6

    Electrical systems

    • Electrical systems

      As you know by now: kinetic energy in the wind may be converted to mechanical energy by the rotor, that drives an electrical generator. The electrical energy must be converted and exported, for example the power system on land.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Describe main components of offshore wind turbines
  • Improve the understanding of the offshore wind field
  • Improve the understanding of how energy is extracted from the wind and converted to electricity
  • Describe characteristic ground conditions important to the foundation of offshore wind turbines
  • Reflect on important legal and coexistence issues.
  • Describe impacts of offshore wind turbines may have on the marine environment

Who is the course for?

The course is designed for people planning to work in or close to the offshore wind industry. However, as no prior experience is needed it is also for anyone interested in offshore wind.

Who will you learn with?

Professor emeritus in offshore wind energy at Geophysical Institute (GFI), University of Bergen and Bergen Offshore Wind Centre (BOW). About 40 years experience in industrial research.

I am professor in Experimental Meteorology at the Geophysical Institute of the University of Bergen and also affiliated with the Bergen Offshore Wind Centre (BOW).

Associate professor, Bergen Offshore Wind (BOW), Geophysical Institute (GFI), University of Bergen (UiB). Expertise: Atmospheric measurement techniques, boundary layer meteorology, structural dynamics

Who developed the course?

University of Bergen

The University of Bergen (UiB) offers first-class education and cutting-edge research at our location in the city centre of Bergen, Norway.


NORCE is an independent research institute that conducts research for both public and private sectors, to facilitate informed and sustainable choices for the future.


Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (HVL) is one of the largest educational institutions in the country, with about 16,500 students.

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Ways to learn

Choose the best way to learn for you!

Subscribe & save

$244.99 for one whole year

Automatically renews

Develop skills to further your career

  • Access to this course
  • Access to 1,000+ courses
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Digital certificate when you're eligible

Cancel for free anytime

Buy this course

$134/one-off payment

Fulfill your current learning need

  • Access to this course
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Printed and digital certificate when you’re eligible

Limited access


Sample the course materials

  • Access expires 10 Jul 2024

Find out more about certificates, Unlimited or buying a course (Upgrades)

Sale price available until 3 June 2024 at 23:59 (UTC). T&Cs apply.

Find out more about certificates, Unlimited or buying a course (Upgrades)

Sale price available until 3 June 2024 at 23:59 (UTC). T&Cs apply.

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