December 21, 2006 9:17am CST
According to the BBC website the UK govt has just given the go ahead to two large offshore wind-farm projects. Between them the schemes would produce enough renewable electricity to power about one million households. The larger London Array project covers 144 sq miles (232 sq km) between Margate in Kent and Clacton, Essex and will be the world's biggest when it is completed. The £1.5bn scheme will have 341 turbines rising from the sea about 12 miles (20km) off the Kent and Essex coasts, as well as five offshore substations and four meteorological masts. Do you think wind energy is the energy of the future? How will this help society?
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2 responses
@smacksman (6076)
31 Dec 06
It is absolute rubbish and a waste of money. It is purely a sop to the Greens and to catch votes. In practice it doesn't work. We don't have enough wind here on a constant basis. A recent study has shown that the existing wind turbines in the south of the UK only work at 14% efficiency. When the wind is too light they USE electricity from the grid to keep the blades turning slowly as it takes too much torque to get them going once stopped. They worked best in Scotland but even then only at about 40% of their rated output. They only make money because of huge subsidies from the government. Even in Fernando de Noronha I saw a modern German wind turbine working well in the constant SE trade winds and still they had a diesel power station to fill the needs of a tiny island with one village and a population of a few thousand. In Saint Helena, also in the SE Trades and constantly windy, the two wind turbines were stopped for repairs that will never come and the island is powered by an oil powered power station in Ruperts Bay. We have just had two weeks of high pressure and no wind in London over the winter equinox (shortest days of daylight) and rather cold conditions so high power consumption. So three thousand million dollars worth of kit out there in the Thames Estuary would be using thousands of kilowatts of energy to keep the blades turning and keep the voters happy! What madness!!
@Rachcaa (163)
27 Dec 06
Its about time! For years now there has been discussion about dying out engery sources and global warming - yet little had been done to try and remidy this. At last a renewable energy source - which can actually make a bit of a difference. Often people say that the wind farms are 'sight pollution', to me this is utter rubbish - with out adopting some more environmentally friendly energy sources there may not be a globe to have sights on in the future. And IMHO wind farms can look sort of charming for instance the one (i have been told the USAs largest) in California, to the East of the Bay Area - is amazing!