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Overview

The Power of Wind Energy

Throughout history, communities have harnessed the power of the wind. Now, driven by the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and secure home-grown energy supplies, wind energy is the world’s fastest growing renewable energy type.

Wind energy provides a clean, sustainable solution to our energy problems. It can be used as an alternative to fossil fuels in generating electricity, without the direct emission of greenhouse gases. And there will always be wind; it is inexhaustible and renewable.

It is envisaged that wind power will make the most significant contribution to the achievement of national and international targets for green electricity, due to its environmental benefits, technological maturity and competitiveness.

Wind energy already makes a significant contribution to the UK, with an output of 16.5TWh in 2014 — equivalent to the annual electricity demand of 4.7 million homes. Wind turbines are traditionally located onshore, and are increasingly installed offshore. Wind energy instillations range from large commercial wind farms to smaller developments, ideal for generating power for a household, farm or local community. A single 2.5MW wind turbine can generate enough electricity to meet the annual needs of over 1,400 households, make 230 million cups of tea, or run the average computer for well over 2,000 years. Depending on local wind speeds, a turbine will generate electricity 70–98 per cent of the time. The combined output of UK onshore wind farms however show less variability, due to differences in wind speeds over the country as a whole.

Wind energy is one of the most significant renewable energy sources for electricity generation worldwide. Wind energy presents one of the most attractive opportunities for entrepreneurs because of its competitive costs and proven technology. Market studies reveal that wind, together with solar and bio fuels, will constitute one of the renewable energy technologies in which practically every significant country in the world will be investing over the next decade.

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