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.[1] 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.[1]

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.[2]) 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.[3]

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.[4] 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.[5] 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.[6] 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.[7] 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,[8] 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.[9]

Round 1Edit

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.

Round 2Edit

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.[10]

List of built and proposed offshore wind farmsEdit

UK Offshore Windfarms[11][12]
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 [13]
Lynn/Inner Dowsing October 2008[6] 194 54 Construction started March 2007 [14]
Gunfleet Sands 1 108 30 Construction to start in first half of 2008 [15]
Robin Rigg - Solway Firth 180 60 Construction started summer 2007;[16]

turbine assembly summer 2008[17]

London Array 1,000 341 Permission granted December 2006 [18][19]
Thanet 300 83 Permission granted December 2006[18]

Construction began September 2008[20]

Greater Gabbard 500 140 Approved. Turbines to be delivered in 2009 and 2010.[21]
Rhyl Flats 90 25 Construction began July 2007 [22]
Cromer 108 30 Withdrawn after approval [11]
Scarweather Sands 108 30 Approved [11]
Ormonde 108 30 Approved. Construction to begin in 2008[23].
Shell Flat 180 90 Resubmitted for planning consent
Teesside/Redcar 90 30 Submitted (TWA) [24]
Gwynt y Môr 750 up to 250 planning application submitted [25]
Sheringham Shoal 315 up to 108 planning application submitted [26]
Walney 160/440 93 planning application submitted [27]
Lincs 250 83 planning application submitted [28]
Gunfleet Sands 2 64 22 planning application submitted [29]
Docking Shoal 500 up to 83 planning application to be submitted end of 2006 [30]
Race Bank 500 up to 83 planning application to be submitted mid 2007 [31]
Triton Knoll 1,200
West Duddon 500
Atlantic Array 1,500 350 Planning stage, pending SEA, construction 2013-2018[32]

Onshore wind farmsEdit

File:Greenpark wind turbine arp.jpg

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.[33] 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.[34]

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.[35]

According to DTI figures onshore wind farms in the UK generated 769 GW·h in 2005, while offshore farms generated 204 GW·h.[36] 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.[37]

List of built and proposed onshore wind farmsEdit

Template:Dynamic list

UK Onshore Windfarms[38]
Farm Completed Power (MW) Turbines Type Location Notes
Delabole[39] 1991 December 4.0 10 The UK's first commercial wind farm, owned by Good Energy
Blood Hill[40] 1992 December 2.25 10 Hemsby Norfolk near Great Yarmouth
Coal Clough 1992 December 9.6 24 Located near Burnley
Hollin Hill [41] 1993 June 9.2 23
Harlock Hill[42] 1997 April 2.5 5 Part of the Baywind Co-Op. Upgraded in 2001
Haverigg[43] 1998 July 3/5 4 Part of the Baywind Co-Op.
Bears Downs [44][45] 2001 July 9.6 16
Moel Maelogan [46] 2003 January 15.6 12 Denbigh Moors, North Wales 12 turbines — the first 3 erected in 2002, a further 9 erected in 2008 [47]
Crystal Rig 2004 May 50 20
Hadyard Hill 2006 March 120 52
Burton Wold [48] 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 [49] 2007 December 23 10 ENERCON E-70 2.3MW Isle of Skye
Westmill[50] 2008 April 6.5 5 Siemens 1.3MW Watchfield near Shrivenham, Oxfordshire A co-op windfarm
Scout Moor[51] 2008 September 65 26 Between Bury, Rossendale and Rochdale
Walkway, High Swainston[52] 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 [53] 2009 30 10 Fishburn Close to the Walkway development ?
Ardrossan[54] 24 12
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.[55]
Royd Moor Wind Farm 6 12 Peniston, South Yorkshire

See alsoEdit



External linksEdit

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