UK wind research blows away myths

November 14, 2005
Wind turbines

The most extensive study yet of the UK’s wind resource has found it to be the best in Europe, underlining its ability to make a significant contribution to our energy needs.
The research, conducted by Oxford’s Environmental Change Institute for the Department of Trade and Industry, analysed hourly wind speed records collected by the Met Office at 66 locations across the UK since 1970.

The key findings are:

-- The UK has the best wind resource in Europe. The recorded capacity factor for onshore wind energy in the UK is 27 per cent, greater even than in Germany (15 per cent) and Denmark (20 per cent) where wind farms are currently most widespread.
-- Availability of wind power in the UK is greater at precisely the times that we need it – during peak daytime periods and during the winter.
-- The UK wind resource is dependable. The likelihood of low wind speeds affecting 90 per cent of the country would only occur for one hour every five years.
-- The chance of wind turbines shutting down due to very high wind speeds is exceedingly rare – high winds affecting 40 per cent or more of the UK would occur in around one hour every 10 years and never affect the whole country.

Energy Minister Malcolm Wicks said: ‘This research is a nail in the coffin of some of the exaggerated myths peddled by opponents of wind power.

‘Put simply, wind energy in the UK could be greater than that in Germany and Denmark. Wind in the UK is there when we need it most and we must continue our efforts to harness its potential for our future energy mix’

Graham Sinden, author of the report, said: ‘The UK wind resource offers a reliable source of electricity that is not only low carbon, but reduces the UK's reliance on imported fuels. By examining such extensive wind records from throughout the UK, we can be very confident that the study identified both long-term trends and the most extreme wind conditions the UK will experience.

‘The key to understanding the benefits of wind power for the UK rests with understanding the resource itself. The evidence shows that UK wind power delivers more energy at times of peak demand, and that claims that calm conditions regularly occur throughout the UK in winter are without foundation.’

An Executive Summary as well as a full copy of the report, ‘Wind Power and the UK Wind Resource’ can be obtained online at www.eci.ox.ac.uk/renewables/ukwind

Source: University of Oxford

Explore further: Power grid forecasting tool reduces costly errors

Related Stories

Power grid forecasting tool reduces costly errors

July 30, 2015

Accurately forecasting future electricity needs is tricky, with sudden weather changes and other variables impacting projections minute by minute. Errors can have grave repercussions, from blackouts to high market costs. ...

Research explores future energy security of China

July 30, 2015

China needs to reduce its dependence on coal and improve the range of fuels it uses if it is to have long term energy security, according to new research from the University of East Anglia (UEA).

Hydrogen bus trial shows promise

July 24, 2015

Heavy transport that emits heat and water instead of diesel exhaust is within WA's reach, a Murdoch University researcher says.

Wave energy device is watched for clean power in Hawaii

July 9, 2015

The U.S. government continues its interest in wave energy, saying it is "committed to supporting the growth of this emerging technology." Supporters of wave energy hope that it will one day be an important source of clean ...

Recommended for you

A cataclysmic event of a certain age

July 27, 2015

At the end of the Pleistocene period, approximately 12,800 years ago—give or take a few centuries—a cosmic impact triggered an abrupt cooling episode that earth scientists refer to as the Younger Dryas.

New blow for 'supersymmetry' physics theory

July 27, 2015

In a new blow for the futuristic "supersymmetry" theory of the universe's basic anatomy, experts reported fresh evidence Monday of subatomic activity consistent with the mainstream Standard Model of particle physics.

Dense star clusters shown to be binary black hole factories

July 29, 2015

The coalescence of two black holes—a very violent and exotic event—is one of the most sought-after observations of modern astronomy. But, as these mergers emit no light of any kind, finding such elusive events has been ...

Image: Hubble sees a dying star's final moments

July 31, 2015

A dying star's final moments are captured in this image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. The death throes of this star may only last mere moments on a cosmological timescale, but this star's demise is still quite ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Alexander66
1 / 5 (1) Dec 15, 2008
Wind power is not a solution.
The whole truth about wind turbines is never told by lobbyists and governments.
How could the very weak and extremely unreliable initial energy source of a wind turbine ever produce a steady power of any significance, despite the fact that modern wind turbines are really sophisticated machines?
Please think!
And read: %u201CWind energy- the whole truth%u201D at: http://www.winden...uth.com/

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.