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Offshore wind firms up the ante in Europe

No longer a niche sector restricted to north-west Europe, offshore wind is likely to play a significant role in meeting the world's clean energy needs

Offshore wind used to be portrayed as the costly renewable energy option that only got developed if onshore wind was too difficult to build or sell to the public. But, with the industry sinking money into pioneering and ever more efficient technology, the sector is increasingly well positioned to stand on its own two feet — even as subsidies are stripped away. The latest headline grabber is GE's 12-megawatt Haliade-X offshore turbine, which will be the world's largest when it comes to the market. GE said it would invest more than $400m over the next three-to-five years to develop and deploy the technology. The top of the turbine will be a maximum 260 meters above the sea, while the blades

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