Wind power in the United Kingdom passed the milestone of 2 GW installed capacity on 9 February 2007 with the opening of the Braes O'Doune wind farm, near Stirling. The UK became the 7th country in the world to reach this capacity. The world leader in wind power is Germany with 20.6 GW installed.
Currently, approximately 1.5% of UK electricity is generated by wind power (with a total of around 4.5% of UK electricity coming from all renewable sources.) This is expected to rise dramatically in coming years, as a result of UK Energy Policy strongly supporting new renewable energy generating capacity. In the short to medium term, the bulk of this new capacity is expected to be provided by onshore and offshore wind power.
Plans for a massive expansion of a wind energy programme in the UK are to be unveiled by the Government. They will include the building of 7000 wind turbines.
Through the mechanism of Renewables Obligation Certificates, British electricity suppliers are now required by law to provide a proportion of their sales from renewable sources such as wind power or pay a penalty fee. The ROCs are the principal form of support for UK wind power, providing around half of the revenue from wind generation. Wind energy is also exempt from the climate change levy which is paid by fossil-fuel and nuclear generators.
Government targets anticipate a capacity utilisation factor (CF) of 30%, implying that 2GW of installed capacity will provide an average of 600MW to the national grid. A study by the Renewable Energy Foundation found that in practice only a few Scottish wind farms achieved this level, while turbines in lowland England were much less efficient, some operating at less than 10% of capacity. The foundation argued that too much subsidy had encouraged wind development on poor sites. Offshore Wind farms however generally have a higher capacity rating for which the 30% figure can be considered a more conservative estimate.
Offshore wind farmsEdit
As of October 2008, the United Kingdom is the world leader in offshore wind power generation. With 590 MW of nameplate capacity, it has overtaken Denmark. The UK has been estimated to have over a third of Europe's total offshore wind resource, which is equivalent to three times the electricity needs of the nation at current rates of electricity consumption.
The first developments in UK offshore wind power came about through the now discontinued Non-Fossil Fuel Obligation (NFFO), leading to two wind farms, Blyth Offshore and Gunfleet sands. The NFFO was introduced as part of the Electricity Act 1989 and obliged UK electricity supply companies to secure specified amounts of electricity from non-fossil sources, which provided the initial spur for the commercial development of renewable energy in the UK.
The UK will require 7,500 offshore turbines by 2020 to meet EU targets.
In 1998 the British Wind Energy Association (BWEA) began discussions with the government to draw up formal procedures for negotiating with the Crown Estate, the owner of almost all the UK coastline out to distance of Template:Convert. The result was a set of guidelines published in 1999, and a huge increase in the number of applications submitted. Eighteen of the applications were granted permission to proceed in April 2001, in what has become known as round one of UK offshore wind development.
The first of the round one projects completed, and the first large scale offshore wind farm in the UK, North Hoyle, was commissioned in December 2003. The second, Scroby Sands, was completed one year later in December 2004, followed by the 90 MW Kentish Flats in 2005. The fourth, Barrow Offshore, with 30 turbines, finished construction in July 2006. Seven of the remaining projects have received consent from the planning authorities, while the remaining four are still awaiting consent, including the Shell Flat site off the coast of Lancashire.
Lessons learnt from round one, particularly the difficulty in getting planning consent for offshore wind farms, together with the increasing pressure to reduce CO2 emissions, prompted the department of trade and industry (DTI) to develop a strategic framework for the offshore wind industry. The result, known as Round 2, was announced in December 2003 with 15 projects with a combined capacity of 7.2 GW. By far the largest of these are the 1 GW London Array and the 1.2 GW Triton Knoll.
List of built and proposed offshore wind farmsEdit
|Farm||Completed||Power (MW)||No. Turbines||Notes|
|Blyth Offshore||December 2000||4||2||Evaluation project|
|North Hoyle||December 2003||60||30||The UK's first major offshore wind farm|
|Scroby Sands||December 2004||60||30|
|Kentish Flats Offshore Wind Farm||December 2005||90||30||Construction completed 2005|
|Barrow Offshore Wind||May 2006||90||30||Construction completed 2006|
|Burbo Bank||October 2007||90||25||Construction completed 2007|
|Beatrice||August 2007||10||2||Evaluation project. Construction started 2006 |
|Lynn/Inner Dowsing||October 2008||194||54||Construction started March 2007 |
|Gunfleet Sands 1||108||30||Construction to start in first half of 2008 |
|Robin Rigg - Solway Firth||180||60|| Construction started summer 2007;
turbine assembly summer 2008
|London Array||1,000||341||Permission granted December 2006 |
|Thanet||300||83|| Permission granted December 2006
Construction began September 2008
|Greater Gabbard||500||140||Approved. Turbines to be delivered in 2009 and 2010.|
|Rhyl Flats||90||25||Construction began July 2007 |
|Cromer||108||30||Withdrawn after approval |
|Scarweather Sands||108||30||Approved |
|Ormonde||108||30||Approved. Construction to begin in 2008.|
|Shell Flat||180||90||Resubmitted for planning consent|
|Teesside/Redcar||90||30||Submitted (TWA) |
|Gwynt y Môr||750||up to 250||planning application submitted |
|Sheringham Shoal||315||up to 108||planning application submitted |
|Walney||160/440||93||planning application submitted |
|Lincs||250||83||planning application submitted |
|Gunfleet Sands 2||64||22||planning application submitted |
|Docking Shoal||500||up to 83||planning application to be submitted end of 2006 |
|Race Bank||500||up to 83||planning application to be submitted mid 2007 |
|Atlantic Array||1,500||350||Planning stage, pending SEA, construction 2013-2018|
Onshore wind farmsEdit
The first windfarms in the UK were built onshore, and they currently generate more power than the offshore farms. A March 2006 report by the British Wind Energy Association forecast that onshore windfarms will be able to supply 6,000 MW peak, or on average nearly 5% of the national electricity requirement, by 2010. Despite this potential, gaining planning permission for onshore wind farms is proving difficult, with many schemes stalled in the planning system, and a high rate of refusal.
In the year to 31 March 2005, onshore wind farms, according to Ofgem, produced 1,734 GW·h (an average of 198 MW) but this is expected to rise to 2,500 GW·h (an average of 285 MW) in the following year, so there is considerable scope for further growth (16,600 MW peak capacity had been installed in Germany by 2004.
According to DTI figures onshore wind farms in the UK generated 769 GW·h in 2005, while offshore farms generated 204 GW·h. This compares to a total electricity consumption of 407,265 GW·h for the same year, meaning that the combined on and offshore contribution to UK electricity generation was less than 0.25%. In 2007 the planning permission problem was exacerbated by a shortage of spare parts for certain models of generator, which put some turbines out of action for over six months, triggering clauses in planning consents requiring removal of the non-functional turbines.
List of built and proposed onshore wind farmsEdit
|Delabole||1991 December||4.0||10||The UK's first commercial wind farm, owned by Good Energy|
|Blood Hill||1992 December||2.25||10||Hemsby Norfolk||near Great Yarmouth|
|Coal Clough||1992 December||9.6||24||Located near Burnley|
|Hollin Hill ||1993 June||9.2||23|
|Harlock Hill||1997 April||2.5||5||Part of the Baywind Co-Op. Upgraded in 2001|
|Haverigg||1998 July||3/5||4||Part of the Baywind Co-Op.|
|Bears Downs ||2001 July||9.6||16|
|Moel Maelogan ||2003 January||15.6||12||Denbigh Moors, North Wales||12 turbines — the first 3 erected in 2002, a further 9 erected in 2008 |
|Crystal Rig||2004 May||50||20|
|Hadyard Hill||2006 March||120||52|
|Burton Wold ||2006 March||20||10||ENERCON E-70 2MW||Northamptonshire|
|Caton Moor||2006 July||16||8||Recently upgraded|
|Boyndie Airfiled||2006 October||14||7||ENERCON E-70 2MW||Aberdeenshire||operated by Falck Renewables|
|Ben Aketil ||2007 December||23||10||ENERCON E-70 2.3MW||Isle of Skye|
|Westmill||2008 April||6.5||5||Siemens 1.3MW||Watchfield near Shrivenham, Oxfordshire||A co-op windfarm|
|Scout Moor||2008 September||65||26||Between Bury, Rossendale and Rochdale|
|Walkway, High Swainston||2008||21||7||Near Fishburn|
|Braidenhill Farm||2008 July||0.8||1||ENERCON E-53||near Glasgow|
|Redbog||2008 July||1.6||2||ENERCON E-48||Aberdeenshire|
|University of Ulster||2008 September||0.8||1||ENERCON E-48||Bangor, County Down, Northern Ireland|
|University of Ulster||2008 October||0.8||1||ENERCON E-48||Coleraine, Northern Ireland|
|Liniclate||2008 November||0.9||1||ENERCON E-44||Benbecula, Outer Hebrides, Scotland|
|Balnamoon Wind Farm||2008 November||0.8||1||ENERCON E-48||Keith, Moray, Scotland|
|Butterwick Moor ||2009||30||10||Fishburn||Close to the Walkway development ?|
|Black Law Wind Farm||124|
|Whitelee Wind Farm||322||Eaglesham, Scotland|
|Carno wind farm||1996 October||33.6||56||Near Carno, Powys, Mid Wales|
|Dagenham||2004 April||3.6||2||ENERCON E-66 18.66||Dagenham||First wind farm to be built in Greater London|
|Clyde Wind Farm||2011 (projected)||548||152||Abington South Lanarkshire||Approval given 21 July 2008. Completion expected in 2011.|
|Royd Moor Wind Farm||6||12||Peniston, South Yorkshire|
- British Wind Energy Association
- Baywind Energy Co-operative
- Energy use and conservation in the United Kingdom
- Energy policy of the United Kingdom
- Friends of the Earth
- Good Energy
- Green electricity in the United Kingdom
- npower UK
- Renewable energy in the European Union
- Renewable energy in Scotland
- Wind power
- Wind power in Scotland, List of power stations in Scotland#Wind power
- Wind turbines (UK domestic)
- COWRIE Collaborative offshore wind research into the environment
- UK wind farm performance 2005
- The Renewable Energy Centre Wind Power in the UK.
- The Sustainable Energy Alliance UK renewable energy supporters organisation
- A Sea Change: The Wind Farm Revolution
- UK Offshore Wind: Moving Up a Gear
- The Crown Estate Invests in 25 GW of Offshore Wind Power
- UK plans big wind power expansion
- British Wind Energy Association (BWEA) Briefing Sheets
- UK Group Plans to Cut the Costs of Offshore Wind
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