Wind Energy

Published on January 28th, 2009 | by Ariel Schwartz

2

Government: Off-Shore Wind Could Power Every UK Home by 2020

January 28th, 2009 by  

A recently completed study from the Department of Energy and Climate Change has concluded that off-shore wind power may be the key to the UK’s energy future. According to the study, 5,000-7,000 new turbines could be built off the coast by 2020. The turbines could generate 25GW of power— the equivalent of 25 large coal-fired plants. 8GW of additional offshore wind power are already planned.

There’s just one problem— many of the current UK off-shore projects may not even be completed. Emily Highmore, a spokeswoman for the London Array project, warned, “Off-shore wind has always, and will always be, very expensive. We can’t be confident it will go ahead, but we believe it’s a cracking project and very important to helping the government meet its renewables targets.”

However, if current and future projects come to fruition, up to 70,000 new jobs could be created and UK carbon dioxide emissions could be cut by up to 14%.

Photo Credit: CC licensed by Flickr user phault


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About the Author

was formerly the editor of CleanTechnica and is a senior editor at Co.Exist. She has contributed to SF Weekly, Popular Science, Inhabitat, Greenbiz, NBC Bay Area, GOOD Magazine, and more. A graduate of Vassar College, she has previously worked in publishing, organic farming, documentary film, and newspaper journalism. Her interests include permaculture, hiking, skiing, music, relocalization, and cob (the building material). She currently resides in San Francisco, CA.



  • “Off-Shore Wind Could Power Every UK Home by 2020”

    “The turbines could generate 25GW of power”

    I’m not sure these two claims add up.

    The UK’s DTI’s estimate of the potential offshore wind generation resource is 4.6 kWh per day per person, from both shallow and deep waters. The UK government announced on 10th December 2007 that it would permit the creation of 33 GW (13 GW more than is being claimed here) of offshore capacity (which would deliver on average 4.4 kWh/d per person), a plan branded ‘pie in the sky’ by some in the wind industry. So, let’s run with a figure of 4 kWh per day per person.

    Just so I can be clear, if If you have the kettle on for 20 minutes per day, that’s an average

    power consumption of 1 kWh per day.

    One ring on an electric cooker has the same power as a toaster: 1 kW. If you use two rings of the cooker on full power for half an hour per day, that corresponds to 1 kWh per day.

    A microwave oven usually has its cooking power marked on the front: mine says 900 W, which is nearly a kilowatt; but it actually consumes about 1.4 kW. If you use the microwave for 20 minutes per day, that’s 0.5 kWh per day.

    A regular oven guzzles more: about 6 kW (when on full). If you use the oven for two hours every six days, that’s 2 kWh per day. So by the time you’ve made a few cups of tea, and done some cooking you’ve used up all the power generated by those offshore wind turbines and more.

    I don’t want to be too negative about renewable energy, but sometimes people need to be reminded of the real numbers involved here.

  • “Off-Shore Wind Could Power Every UK Home by 2020”

    “The turbines could generate 25GW of power”

    I’m not sure these two claims add up.

    The UK’s DTI’s estimate of the potential offshore wind generation resource is 4.6 kWh per day per person, from both shallow and deep waters. The UK government announced on 10th December 2007 that it would permit the creation of 33 GW (13 GW more than is being claimed here) of offshore capacity (which would deliver on average 4.4 kWh/d per person), a plan branded ‘pie in the sky’ by some in the wind industry. So, let’s run with a figure of 4 kWh per day per person.

    Just so I can be clear, if If you have the kettle on for 20 minutes per day, that’s an average

    power consumption of 1 kWh per day.

    One ring on an electric cooker has the same power as a toaster: 1 kW. If you use two rings of the cooker on full power for half an hour per day, that corresponds to 1 kWh per day.

    A microwave oven usually has its cooking power marked on the front: mine says 900 W, which is nearly a kilowatt; but it actually consumes about 1.4 kW. If you use the microwave for 20 minutes per day, that’s 0.5 kWh per day.

    A regular oven guzzles more: about 6 kW (when on full). If you use the oven for two hours every six days, that’s 2 kWh per day. So by the time you’ve made a few cups of tea, and done some cooking you’ve used up all the power generated by those offshore wind turbines and more.

    I don’t want to be too negative about renewable energy, but sometimes people need to be reminded of the real numbers involved here.

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