UK’s Onshore Wind Power Proves Triumphant

Published results of an extensive study of the UK’s wind resource reveal the UK has the best onshore wind resource compared to other countries, ultimately shoring up the UK Government’s efforts to harness the wind’s potential to help meet escalating energy requirements.

Conducted by Oxford University’s Environmental Change Institute for the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the research analyzed hourly wind speed records collected by the Met Office at 66 locations across the UK since 1970. “The only sensible debate about energy is one based on the facts, said Malcolm Wicks, Energy Minister. “We have a vast and dependable wind resource in the UK, the best in Europe. Over the past year there’s been the biggest increase in wind power yet, as we move towards our target of 10 percent of electricity coming from renewable sources by 2010.” The report’s key findings: — The UK has the best wind resource in Europe. The recorded capacity factor for onshore wind energy in the UK is 27 percent, greater than in Germany (15 percent) and Denmark (20 percent) where wind farms are currently widespread. — Availability of wind power in the UK is greater at precisely the times that it is needed — during peak daytime periods and winter. — The UK wind resource is dependable. The likelihood of low wind speeds affecting 90 percent of the country would only occur for one hour every five years. — The chance of wind turbines shutting down due to very high wind speeds is exceedingly rare — high winds affecting 40 percent or more of the UK would occur in around one hour every 10 years and never affect the whole country. “The UK wind resource offers a reliable source of electricity that is not only low carbon, but reduces the UK’s reliance on imported fuels. By examining such extensive wind records from throughout the UK, we can be very confident that the study identified both long-term trends and the most extreme wind conditions the UK will experience,” said Graham Sinden, author of the report from the Environmental Change Institute research team. A copy of the full report is available at the following link.
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