The Contribution of Onshore Wind
- Onshore wind is a mature technology that has developed enormously over the last 20 years so that today's turbines are more efficient, quieter and more cost effective than ever before. The UK has an excellent onshore wind resource with wind speeds particularly good in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.
- Subsidies paid to wind farm operators have been reduced, and are being reduced further after 2017, and even eliminated during 2017.
- Onshore wind load factor averaged 28.9% in 2013*.
- Druim Ba will be a subsidy free (Renewable Energy Obligation Certificate) wind farm.
- Electricity generated from wind has no harmful waste or emissions, whereas electricity generated from coal, gas and nuclear fuels has significant thermal (energy) losses:
- In 2013, 14.9% of the total electricity generated was from renewable sources*:
14.1% from Solar 18.8% from offshore wind
8.6% from Hydro 38.1% from onshore wind
20.4% from plant biomass, landfilled gas, and other
- Fossil fuels play a key role in modern economies, but fossil fuels such as gas are not used at their most efficient for electricity generation. A modern domestic condensing gas boiler has an efficiency of 90% (source: www.homeheatingguide.co.uk), compared with the thermal efficiency achieved in UK combined cycle gas turbine power stations of 48.4% in 2013.
- Natural gas production in the UK fell by 6% from 2012 to 2013, while net imports increased by 5% of gas consumption in the UK nearly 63% was imported*.
- The UK is still heavily reliant on imported fossil fuels for electricity generation and direct electricity imports. Yet wind provides an excellent renewable, sustainable energy resource that can reduce reliability on imports and contribute towards security of supply.
- In 2013, fuel sources for UK
electricity generation were*:
- In 2013, of the total coal consumption, 83% is for electricity production, and 95% of steam coal consumed is for electricity production, (50 million tonnes). 2013 imports of steam coal were*:
- In 2013, coal production in the UK fell to 13 million tonnes*, the lowest level ever reported, because of closures, particularly of the Scottish Coal company, which reduced production in Scotland from 4.8 million tonnes to 2.8 million tonnes. This also resulted in a loss of 638 jobs in the Scottish sector.
* Source: DUKES 2014
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