This article takes a closer look at the most important advantages and drawbacks of using wind energy to generate electricity.
What Is Wind Energy?
As you can easily see, wind energy is the process that uses wind to generate electricity. Wind turbines capture the wind and turn its kinetic energy into mechanical power. This power can either be used to accomplish specific tasks or turned into electricity.
Wind turbines are grouped into so-called wind farms, in order to create electricity in a more efficient manner. They can be installed either onshore or offshore. The biggest offshore wind farm in the world is located 20km off the coast of Kent and it counts 175 turbines.
The Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy released some statistics showing that both onshore and offshore wind energy generation increased. The question is whether this trend will continue over the next decade or not. For now, there are solid advantages of dropping other outdated and ineffective energy sources in favor of wind energy. However, there are still things that may slow down the development of new such projects.
Most Recent Wind Farm Projects
Here are a few of the latest wind farm projects currently under construction:
– Hornsea Project One
This is an offshore development comprising 174 turbines. Located on the east coast of Humberside, the project is due to start operating by 2021. It will generate 1.2 HW in its first phase.
– Rampion Wind Farm
This offshore wind farm features 116 turbines, accounting for an output of 400 MW. The project was completed by 2018 off the Sussex coast.
– East Anglia One
Developed by Scottish Power Renewables, this offshore wind farm will count 102 turbines that will be able to generate 714 MW. The estimated year of completion of this project is 2020.
Here Fircroft discuss the agreement to build the UK’s largest onshore wind farm in Scotland.
Now let’s take a look at the pros and cons of wind energy:
– Wind is a free and infinite renewable energy resource
– Wind energy is inexpensive and its price is on a descending path
– When used to replace fossil fuels, wind energy contributes to reducing carbon emissions
– Operating costs are low, once the turbines are up and running
– Offshore wind farms can benefit from offshore wind flow without spoiling the scenery
– Wind energy can be difficult if not impossible to predict, as the speed and the direction of the wind have a direct influence on the amount of electricity generated
– Wind farms can alter the visual appearance of the scenery
– Wind turbines can interfere with the natural habitat of birds and marine animals
– Wind farms can have a high construction cost