The UK has ideal off shore wind conditions which are capable of supplying the island nations energy requirements. According to German government research only Denmark can produce wind energy cheaper than the UK. At the beginning of 2012, the installed capacity of wind power in the United Kingdom was over 5.9 gigawatts which ranked the UK as the world’s eighth largest producer of wind power. Wind power is expected to continue growing in the UK for the foreseeable future, RenewableUK estimates that more than 2 GW of capacity will be deployed per year for the next five years.
The UK is leading the way in wind power deployment, installing more turbines in 2011 than any other country. A report from the European Wind Energy Association reveals that between January and June, a total of 101 wind turbines of 348.1MW were connected across Europe.
Wind energy is subsidized in the UK, but the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) is cutting funding by reducing the value of Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROCs). The ROCs are designed to encourage generation of electricity from eligible renewable sources in the UK.
Although current price levels are higher than conventional energy these costs should be reduced with experience and once wind power achieves economies of scale. It is expected that wind will cost £100/MWh (US$157) by 2020.
According to the Country Attractiveness Indices report global accountancy firm Ernst and Young said that annual growth in UK wind farms was set to double between 2015 and 2016.
Wind energy not only offers emissions free energy production, but in today’s difficult economic climate, it provides much need green jobs. It is estimated that up to 90,000 green jobs will be provided by 2020 in the wind, wave and tidal sector and associated supply chain.
© 2012, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.
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