A recently-released study has detailed the potential of offshore wind in the United Kingdom. Wind power usage in the country has already reached record levels, and the research has concluded that its use is likely to increase considerably in the years ahead.
The report is titled Unleashing Europe’s Offshore Wind Potential and it was published by BVG Associates. It estimates that by 2030, offshore wind capacity could be providing a total of 25 gigawatts and powering over 20 million UK homes.
Commenting on the study, RenewableUK’s Executive Director, Emma Pinchbeck, said:
“This report shows what our innovative offshore wind industry can deliver in the years ahead, securing economic growth and cheaper electricity. The Government can help us by continuing to hold fiercely competitive auctions for financial support, as well as putting offshore wind at the heart of its upcoming Industrial Strategy. Clear, bold, modern energy policy will attract billions of pounds of investment”.
UK among those leading the way
Although the surge in wind power usage has been relatively recent, it has been used in the United Kingdom for a quarter of a century, when the first ten wind turbines were launched in Delabole, Cornwall.
Currently, the United Kingdom is among the world’s top ten generators of wind power, and the UK is set for a dramatic increase in wind power due to the investment from companies like Dong Energy.
Construction is currently underway on the world’s biggest wind farm, which is scheduled to be commissioned in 2020; this is just one of the projects that are being planned as the UK’s energy industry and government ministers seek alternatives to fossil fuels.
Wind power in the winter
Further research indicates how wind power could be an effective means of energy production in the winter season too.
The team concluded that wind power could help provide power during the coldest times of the winter, and assist in meeting the higher power demands during those periods.
The research also indicates that if there was a ‘widespread’ of turbines throughout Great Britain, it would be possible to optimise power supply by taking advantage of the mixed wind patterns that are experienced in the winter.
The approach could also help to allay some of the worries over energy sustainability as it was found offshore wind power provided a ‘more secure supply’ than onshore power.
The study was conducted by scientists from the Met Office, the Imperial College London and the University of Reading and it was published in the Environmental Research Letters journal.