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Wind Power developments Figure 2.1 Wind Power developments
According to BWEA, the British Wind Energy Authority, in the UK currently there are 2896 large Wind turbines with installed capacity of 4532 MW, sufficient to supply over 2.5 million homes (based on annual household energy consumption of 4.7 MWh).
Much attention has been paid recently to Renewables as a potential source of fuel. The rising oil price and the logistics in supplying fossil fuel to remote areas are the main drive to Renewables as well as the environmental incentive. In remote locations, stand-alone Renewable energy systems can be more costeffective than extending a power line to the electricity grid. In addition, the environmental benefits under the current international concerns on global warming makes such project much more valuable and rewarding.
The growth of renewable energy sources also stimulates employment, the creation of new technologies and new skills.
The new Directive on renewable energy sets ambitious targets for all Member States, such that the EU will reach a 20% share of energy from renewable sources by 2020 and a 10% share of renewable energy specifically in the transport sector. It also improves the legal framework for promoting renewable electricity, requires national action plans that establish pathways for the development of renewable energy sources including bioenergy, creates cooperation mechanisms to help achieve the targets cost effectively and establishes the sustainability criteria for Biofuels. The new Directive should be implemented by Member States by early in 2010.
In a recent statement, Ed Miliband, UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate change he spelled out the government strategy:
“Transforming the country into a cleaner, greener and more prosperous place to live is at the heart of our economic plans for 'building Britain’s future' and ensuring the UK is ready to take advantage of the opportunities ahead”.
By 2020:
  • More than 1.2 million people will be in green jobs.
  • 7 million homes will have benefited from whole house makeovers, and more than 1.5 million households will be supported to produce their own clean energy.
  • Around 40 percent of electricity will be from low-carbon sources, from Renewables, nuclear and
    clean coal.
  • We will be importing half the amount of gas that we otherwise would.
  • The average new car will emit 40 percent less carbon than now.
Siting of Wind turbines
The placement or "siting" of wind systems is extremely important. In order for a wind turbine system to be effective, a relatively consistent wind-flow is required. Obstructions such as trees or hills can interfere with the rotors. Because of this, the rotors are usually placed on towers to take advantage of the stronger winds available higher up. Furthermore, wind speed varies with temperature, season, and time of day. All these factors must be considered when choosing a site for a wind-powered generator.
The amount of Wind Energy available at any location depends on two sets of factors:
  1. Climatic factors including: Time of day, Season, Geographic location, Topography, and Local weather.
  2. Mechanical factors including: Diameter of rotor, and Type of Turbine
Utility-scale wind farms must have access to transmission lines to transport energy. The wind farm developer may be obligated to install extra equipment or control systems in the wind farm to meet the technical standards set by the operator of a transmission line.
Wind farm, off shore, or on shore Figure 2.2 Wind farm, off shore, or on shore.
Planning Constraints for wind turbines:
There is a number of planning related issues that may make it difficult for you to install a turbine on your site and it would be wise to ensure that you are not going to fall foul of any of these before proceeding.
  • Military installations
    Avoid these installations, especially if it is an air force base or communication centres.
  • Proximity to built-up area
    When housing estates are concerned, ideally consider a distance of at least 200m - 300m depending on the size of the turbine.
  • Designated areas or listed buildings
    National Parks or Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty are more difficult to satisfy the local planning officer to install a wind turbine on it or near it.
next Steps to Planning and Building a Wind Farm
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