UK opens world’s biggest offshore wind farm!

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Glad to see that the UK government has finally decided that we should start properly taking advantage of the amazing wind resources that we have been blessed with. The map below shows just how much more wind we have than almost every other populated region in the world and in fact, the difference is even greater than the map suggests due to the cubic relationship between the mean wind speed and the power it contains.Capture

Despite its humongous scale (175 turbines, rated at 630MW), I was surprised to find out that in many ways, the project is remarkably similar to the small scale rural development projects I’m used to. The full article says that although much of the investment has come from overseas, the majority of the work has been done by UK firms, putting money back into the struggling UK economy and building local capacity.

630MW may seem a lot, but when you consider that this will only power half a million of London’s 2-3 million homes, let alone any of the commercial or industrial premesis, it seems like a drop in the ocean (excuse the pun!). Just as the first small wind turbine to be installed in a remote community can never hope to provide all the power the community will need, but can be the first step on the pathway to achieving a low carbon and resilient energy supply. However, the fact that all of this 630MW are generated from UK resources (as opposed to Russian gas or Columbian coal), virtually on the doorstep of the homes that it will supply means that little will be lost in transmission and distribution and allows us to take control of our own energy supply (even though the wind is probably the hardest resource to attempt to take control of due to its unpredictability!).