We, as Brits, love to moan about the weather – particularly the wind and rain!! However, being the windiest country in Europe means we are best placed to generate renewable energy from wind turbines. Wind turbines are the UK’s primary source of renewable energy at present and this will keep growing.
Some trivia about wind turbines – They are large structures approximately 150 meters high with 2 or 3 rotating blades. The blades range from 20-80 meters and turn between 12-20 times per minute, depending on the wind strength and turbine type. The power from the wind makes the blades spin which in turn powers a generator. This then converts the kinetic energy (movement) into electricity. We have offshore and onshore wind turbines in the UK. They can be grouped together as wind farms. This enables the energy made to be greater in one location. The UK is currently the world leader in offshore wind farming.
The Government has promised ‘friendly’ electricity by quadrupling offshore wind capacity by 2030. Pledging £160m for this purpose. Thus, raising capacity from 30 gigawatts to 40 gigawatts. Is this an ambiguous target? One wind turbine per week day would have to be installed for the next 10 years to achieve such a bold target!
Ports in Teesside, Humber, Wales and Scotland will be injected with money in order to build, service and maintain the wind turbines. This would be great for our economy and employment, or would it? Recently the contracts to manufacture 114 platforms for Scotland were won by a US corporation who will have them manufactured and shipped from China and the UAE. EDF has previously also out sourced their wind farm supply chain from Indonesia, even though these wind farms will be off of our shores. Deals like this are obviously a blow to the UK economy and our rising unemployment.
In 2020 alone consumers have paid in excess of £800m through their energy bills to support offshore wind. It seems a shame that the UK will not benefit from the extra jobs and production. Let’s hope things change soon given the rise in unemployment at the present time.
In the words of Boris Johnson and his vision for the UK’s wind turbine future … “As Saudi Arabia is to oil, the UK is to wind!”.