Wind Power Generation
Wind energy is considered to be a free renewable source of fuel that can be widely applied in production of electricity. At the same time, the United Kingdom has always been one of the windiest countries on the territory of Europe. Wind power is expected to become an increasingly important part of the UK energy sphere in the nearest future. At present, the United Kingdom is characterized by the immense energy opportunities. Since 1990s, the UK has drastically increased the amounts of energy production. It is important to emphasize, that the United Kingdom takes the first place among other countries, concerning the level of installed offshore wind capacities (Hughes 2012).
In 2007, the government of the United Kingdom issued a document, named Energy White Paper that is aimed to successfully accomplish energy requirements for the nearest future. According to this document, the United Kingdom plans to increase the expansion of renewable energy because of two main reasons: to promote the production of renewable energy sources, and to decrease simultaneously the emissions of carbon into the atmosphere. With the purpose to meet the challenges, the leadership of the United Kingdom is aimed to establish multilateral approach that will encourage rapid development and application of low-carbon technologies and equipments (Hughes 2012).
One more purpose of the UK is to create and expand powerful and competitive energy market. According to the statistics provided by Climate Change Act in 2008, the United Kingdom is obliged to lessen the amounts of pollutant emissions (mainly the emissions of carbon dioxide) by 80% before 2050. Nowadays, the generation of electricity contributes to one third of carbon dioxide emission into the atmosphere on the territory of the United Kingdom (Jones & Eiser 2009).
Scientists estimate that the United Kingdom heavily relies on natural gas and coal for production of energy. At present, nuclear power and wind energy represent 22 % of all energy sources. However, it is argued, that wind turbines are the most profitable and cost effective technologies, that will increase the efficiency of renewables to the maximum. Public opinion polls estimate that between 70% – 80% of citizens of the UK support the basic idea that the use of wind power will be beneficial for the economic stability and development of the country. At present, many UK companies invest huge sums of money in development of onshore wind projects (Jones & Eiser 2009).
The equipments for generation of wind power are not fully designed and developed in the North Wales by the Welsh government. Taking into consideration the recent statistics provided by the Welsh leadership, by 2020, more than 7,000 GWh of electricity should be produced by renewable energy sources, including the energy of wind. In 2010, leadership of Wales issued a document with a so-called name “Revolution against Carbon Emissions” that was aimed to increase the potential of wind power production, that is regarded to be more environmentally friendly and advantageous (Aitken 2010).
Despite the fact that, at present, gas and coal are major traditional sources of energy in North Wales, they will soon diminish because of the increase of production of renewables. The period from 2004 till 2011 is characterized by the considerable increase of wind energy production. Furthermore, since 2003 till 2011, the amount of electricity, produced from wind sources, has tripled on the territory of the North Wales. It is estimated, that the percentage of wind power production increased in North Wales because of appearance of small and large scale wind farms (Pearson & Winter 2013).
Wales is characterized by enormous numbers of renewable energy projects that are constantly evolving. However, Cefn Croes wind farm is the unique “operational” on-shore project, the capacity of which exceeds 50 MW. Majority of active sites with the power that goes beyond 50 MW, are situated offshore. Such superpower wind farms as Rhyl and North Hoyle are located in the offshore North of Wales. Another five offshore wind farms have already been approved by the Welsh government and will start operating in the next three –four years. It is expected that Welsh offshore wind farm will generate more than 570 MW of energy. Besides, there are six additional onshore wind farms that are in the process of development, and wait for the confirmation by the Welsh government (Pearson & Winter 2013).
Currently, Wales is notable for the existence of five active wind farms, the capacity of which constitutes less than 50 MW. Moreover, seven another farms with the power from 25 to 50 MW will be installed in several years. Additionally, in order to enhance wind energy generation, Welsh leadership is planning to study the onshore projects of between five and twenty five MW (Pearson & Winter 2013).
The Windpower Wales company, located in the North of Wales, is aimed to sustain and develop the environmentally-friendly energy projects. In 2008, this locally owned company succeeded in obtaining permission from the government for the construction of wind farm, the capacity of which exceeded 40 MW. The primary purpose of this company is to protect the environment from carbon dioxide omissions and to save the Earth for future generations. The board of directors of the company is extremely experienced in the sphere of wind energy generation, and with the help of efficient technology, high-profile management and marketing, Windpower Wales has enormous chances for success. Therefore, leadership of the company is convinced that the development and construction of over 250 MW of wind farms on the territory of North Wales by 2020 will definitely benefit not only the economy of Wales, but the economy of the UK in general. The company has already devised series of productive methods that will help Wales to decrease dependence on fossil fuels (Hughes 2012).
At present, wind energy is considered to be one of the leading sources of electricity, not only on the territory of the United Kingdom. Scientists provide the data to the government of the U.S., that the energy of wind ensures enormous benefits to the economy of the United States of America. More than 50,000 megawatts of power are obtained from the energy of wind (Druckenmiller 2012).
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Numerous studies, conducted on the territories of Illinois, Ohio, and Oregon confirm that the production and distribution of wind energy provides huge incomes. In 2003, wind generating capacity on the territory of the USA has increased more than 30%. At present, wind power plants of different sizes are functioning in thirty two states. The total generating capacity of these plants constitutes 6374 MW of power. Experts established that this amount of energy can be applied to satisfy energy needs of more than three million homes (Aitken 2010).
On the basis of statistics, provided by Department of Energy of the USA, the U.S. leadership managed to decrease the cost of wind energy generation by more than 80%. Wind program, implemented by the U.S. government in 2001, has the major purpose to enhance economic benefit from wind production. As a result, in order to decrease pollution, to slow down the global warming, to overcome dependence on fossil fuels, the USA should make a permanent commitment to wind energy sources to support the growth of wing energy (Druckenmiller 2012).
As a result, conventional sources of energy, based on oil, gas and coal, have proven to be very efficient, but unreliable drivers of progress. On the contrary, the potential of renewable sources of energy is uncommonly large, as renewables easily satisfy the world’s energy demands. Renewable sources will definitely bring well-being and prosperity to humanity in the nearest future. The extensive use of wind energy will result in benefits not only in energy sphere, but also in the fields of ecosystem protection, economic development and energy security of all countries around the globe.