Skegness holds some very happy childhood memories for me, of family day trips to the seaside. On returning to the seaside town after many years, I wasn’t prepared for the imposing sight of a farm of enormous metal spinning blades sitting in the sea. I have seen wind farms dotted around the British Countryside and think they are quite a beautiful sight, nature in harmony with technology, a sign of our times. Yet, the sight at Skegness of the offshore wind farms came as a shock and I’m not really sure why.
These wind farms, farms of imposing white giants, flailing their metal spinning arms high into the sky must be good for our renewable energy programme, right? The advantages of this technology must be vast surely? After some investigation here are the benefits of wind energy I found:
Production of electricity in this way does not pollute the environment as there are no emissions, unlike fossil fuels and nuclear power, making wind energy a green energy source. There is however, a very minimal contribution to global warming in the manufacture, transportation and installation of the wind turbines.
There is Potential for Rapid Growth
In the last 3 years global wind power has doubled and it now answerable for 2% of the world’s electricity productions. This is only the tip of iceberg, as it is estimated that 40 times the current electricity production is theoretically possible due to the availability of the volume of land areas that required wind speeds. The potential expansion of the wind industry is vast indeed.
As long as the sun keeps on shining, the wind will keep blowing, so there is no way we will lose the energy resource that is wind. This is what makes wind energy one a renewable energy source, because it is a resource is naturally replenished.
It’s Good Use of Space
In recent years we have seen farms installing rows upon rows of solar panels. However, a wind turbine takes up a lot less space and allows the land around them to be used for other things, crops for example.
As with most technologies, after the initial outlay and installation cost of the wind turbine the operational costs are relatively low. However, again, just like any other technology you might buy you get what you pay for and some turbines may be more susceptible to maintenance and breakdown than others.
The Domestic Potential
As with current domestic schemes for solar panels, where homeowners receive bill credits for excess electricity production, there is the potential for this to apply to electricity produced with residential wind turbines. This type of scheme also has the advantage of protecting users from power cuts and changeable energy prices.
The fact that the largest windmills, or wind turbines, are capable of providing approximately 600 homes with electricity shows there are major benefits of wind energy, and that it has major potential as a key future electricity supply.
What do you think of the white windmill giants that are scattered across our countryside and shorelines? Do you love them, hate them or think that they are a necessary progression to secure energy supplies for the future? Tell us in the comments.