Wind power is the most significant renewable energy generator in the UK. Inland and offshore wind farms produced 14.8% of all electricity consumed by homes and businesses in the UK in 2017. The turbines we use today are advanced technology based on the concept of a traditional windmill.
The UK has an enviable geographical position for turbines that utilize wind energy because of the high proportion of wind that blows around and across countries in Europe. Despite high initial investment, this renewable energy source does not produce carbon emissions and is one of the safest and cleanest methods of producing electricity.
Most installations for use in the UK are off the coast of Northern Scotland rather than the smaller and less robust land-based versions. The advantages of building these engineering projects at sea include aesthetics, cost, ability to utilize stronger wind speeds and superior power generation due to their thin size. A lot of equipment is needed to help run these large wind turbines, including lifting mechanisms like davit cranes. For more information on how a Davit Crane can help your business, visit https://www.gmh.co.uk/transition-piece-davit-cranes/
Compare this with small installations built on land such as in Cornwall, for example and it’s easy to see why much more capacity is possible at sea. In addition, there are signifiant health and safety concerns to overcome with smaller installations, resulting in a blade length is much shorter and less robust. Most of the land used for wind farms is green belt, thus protected and more difficult to get a planning permit.
Once installed, the slats quietly run their business producing electricity without pollution from carbon emissions.
Facts of Wind Farming
Here are ten facts and figures about wind power for the UK.
Electricity Costs Produced
Fact 1: Offshore winds will cost £ 120 / MWh in 2018 with a new installation that estimates a lower cost of £ 58 / MWh (5.8p / kWh) by 2022.
Fact 2: Terrestrial winds are only worth £ 65 / MWh now and are estimated to be £ 46 / MWh in 2022 (4.6p / kWh).
Amount of Electricity Produced
Fact 3: Wind energy generates 14.8% of all electricity in the UK.
Fact 4: The largest onshore wind farm in Whitelee, Scotland has 215 Siemens wind turbines and a 539MW capacity. The Hornsea Project Two installation, which is scheduled for completion in 2022, will become the world’s largest wind farm with a capacity of 1,386 megawatts, which can power up to 1.3 million homes.
Fact 5: During certain years, turbines only operate between 28% (land) and 39% (offshore) of their maximum capacity. There is less energy produced during the summer months when wind speeds become lower or neglected.
Fact 6: 40% of all wind energy produced in Europe blows into England.
Fact 7: Wind turbines drive generators when the rotor blades (or arms) produce AC electricity from magnets that move on stationary wire reels. This energy is converted to DC electricity to be stored in batteries or fed directly to the National Grid to meet the demand for power.
Fact 8: The average life of a wind turbine is 20 to 25 years.
Fact 9: There are 1,516 British onshore wind projects with 7,047 turbines connected to the National Grid.
Fact 10: There are 32 offshore wind farms in England with 1,716 turbines connected to the National Grid.