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Wind Power In The UK As A Form Of Renewable Energy

Wind power in the UK as a form of renewable energy

Most nations are gradually heading towards a future that produces primarily green energy. Renewable energy provides nearly one third of the UK’s power. More than 50% of this is generated by wind energy alone. Generating energy from both offshore and onshore wind turbines is of paramount importance if we are to realise a clean energy system that is compatible with the future we require. Green energy is starting to become a viable option for many domestic and commercial customers. Previously, using wind energy as well as other renewable sources such as solar, hydro, tidal, geothermal and biomass was prohibitively expensive for most. However, changes in the industry, including those put forward by regulator Ofgem, has meant that production of these sources has increased greatly and we are less reliant on traditional sources such as fossil fuels and nuclear. This has meant that green energy tariffs now have parity in terms of pricing with their non-renewable counterparts. One of the many ways home customers are able to save money on their energy is to opt for an Economy 7 tariff. However, this tariff has its own advantages and disadvantages. If you’re able to make use of higher energy consumption during off peak hours (normally between the hours of 12am and 7am), your supplier will charge you a reduced electricity rate for this. Note that a slight variation will apply depending on daylight saving hours and which region you are located in. Most energy firms will counter this by increasing energy prices during the peak hours of the day. So why does this happen? This depends on how the energy source is produced. In this case, non-renewable sources such as nuclear power or coal are in 24-hour production. Unfortunately, the nuclear reactor and power plants cannot be switched off at short notice to make way for altering levels of demand and must be kept running. A nuclear reactor can take days to be powered down. Even though there is a significantly lower demand for electricity during the night, a large volume of electricity is still in production. Firms are unable to store this excess energy and it will therefore become waste. However, they would still prefer to make money from the extra energy produced and therefore offer an Economy 7 tariff as a solution. Customers that are able to leverage energy during this period will be able to save money and help to reduce energy waste. How long this option will last in the coming years as we head towards a renewable future remains to be seen. With wind power contributing an exceptional amount towards green energy in the United Kingdom, it’s a good idea to understand the different methods of production. Onshore wind is the most cost-efficient option for new electricity in the UK. This is only accentuated when you consider that it is cheaper than coal, gas, nuclear and other renewable sources mentioned above. It also has an additional advantage in that it has strong support amongst the public as a modern and more importantly clean technology. Onshore wind currently provides clean energy to more than 7 million homes each year, and in 2017 produced almost 10% of the UK’s power requirements. The UK has installed over 12 gigawatts of onshore wind capacity, this not only gives us green energy but also supports economic growth through job creation. The UK’s 1,500 onshore wind farms have a combined investment impact of more than £35billion. This remarkable contribution signifies what onshore wind is able to provide in terms of low-cost energy for customers, in addition to reducing our overall carbon footprint. The United Kingdom is the world leader in offshore wind, this is because we have a higher installed capacity than any other country across the world. Offshore wind currently powers more than 4.5 million homes annually, and by the current year (2020), will generate more than 10% of electricity in the UK. Since 2015, offshore wind costs have been reduced by around 50% and it is now cheaper than gas and nuclear power. Over a five-year period (2016 to 2021), almost £19billion is being invested in offshore wind in the UK. This investment is having a positive impact on the economy as it is contributing thousands of highly skilled jobs across various sectors such as construction, manufacturing and project development operations. In particular, all this will mean that offshore wind becomes an energy system that is clean, dependable and affordable for the general population at large. Wind turbines of varying sizes are allowing families and businesses, including those in rural areas, to switch to a renewable energy option and reduce their costs. For more than 40 years, the UK has been a world leader in manufacturing and exporting small sized wind turbines. Decentralised low carbon generation will be central to a cleaner and smarter energy system, helping everyday families and businesses alike. As consumer demand increases, this will only become a more salient point in the future.

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