THE GREEN PLANET BLOG - Our World and Environment...

All about conservation, ecology, the environment, climate change, global warming, earth- watch, and new technologies etc.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Wind farms - the global energy of the future...

Wind Farms - The Energy of the Future...

In order to avoid climate change the world needs to cut back on carbon emissions. One way to do this is to use renewable energy such as wind, wave, water and solar power. In the UK the Government plans to concentrate on wind power at the expense of other renewable energy sources – will this be most the efficient renewable energy source for our future planet?

The government has set a target of meeting 15 per cent of all the UK's energy demands from renewables by 2020, which means that between 35 to 45 per cent of electricity will be from green sources. Most of this is expected to be generated by wind farms. Critics feel that wind turbines are large and noisy and that they spoil the countryside ultimately the NIMBY (not-in-my-backyard) attitude persists.

Although wind farms are not appealing onshore, offshore wind farms are proving successful. They are sited at sea where they do not affect the aesthetic appeal of the landscape and being at sea they are in a highly exposed and windy location. BWEA (British Wind Energy Association), the UK's leading renewable energy trade association reports that every home in the UK could be powered by electricity from offshore wind by 2020.

Maria McCaffery, BWEA Chief Executive, said: "We will have a cumulative installed capacity of up to 9 gigawatts (GW) by 2015. Wind will overtake nuclear in terms of installed capacity within the next 4 to 5 years, as an important milestone in reaching 2020."

Their counterparts down in the South Pacific, New Zealand, have already installed many windfarms in appropriate areas of the country, but are also researching wave, tidal, solar power and other renewable sources of energy. NZ is primarily hydro electric sourced, and coal powered to a lesser degree. Cook Strait in the middle of the North and South Islands has been described as being one of the roughest stretches of waters in the world at times, and could be a source of wave and tidal power.

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