It was only announced this week that Labour has plans to invest billions of pounds in EV production and offshore wind farms. With a potential Labour run government in the future, we have a great opportunity to accelerate the green industrial revolution. Profits from wind farms would be used to revamp deprival coastal areas, giving us a significant chance of actually reaching the goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050.
And since there’s been a lot of speculation over whether the National Grid can currently support EV infrastructure, there could potentially be a further £2.3 billion set aside to build three battery plants to support the supply of electric cars.
Having wind power and EVs working together is an ideal way to develop renewable resources and get the backing from current generations to believe that they are manageable, reliable, and able to guarantee electricity. There’s potential for EVs to store electricity produced at night or when its in low demand, and sell it back to the grid at a good price. The infrastructure is there, it just needs the backing of individuals and businesses across the UK and the rest of the world.
So what options do people have to get involved with the likes of Labour, and share their ethos in supporting the planet?
Currently, 30% of the Earth’s land is covered by forests, and each year we destroy 29,157 miles of it. In less than 700 years we will have eradicated all of our forests and in 100 years our rainforests may be destroyed completely. We’re massively struggling with climate change, deforestation and a ridiculous amount of rubbish in our oceans. Many individuals, businesses and developers have made the choice to switch to alternative energy sources, EVs and make little changes to try and help save the planet. Whether that’s conserving water, planting more trees, or recycling, every change can make a difference.
One of the biggest changes that is really effective in ensuring that we are actively helping to save the planet is wind power. As a renewable energy source, it can help reduce the amount of electricity generated from fossil fuels and in turn it reduces air pollution and CO2 emissions.
To help you get a better understanding of what wind turbines actually are and why they are so important, here are the benefits of wind power for businesses…
What Is Wind Energy?
Wind energy, unlike other forms of renewable sources, is a lot easier to understand. It is electricity that has been generated by converting air flow or wind into green energy. It captures kinetic energy and generates electricity which is a lot cleaner and safer than the likes of fossil fuels.
The massive bonus is that it doesn’t produce any carbon emissions and is a great solution to climate change. In fact, Britain has 40% of Europe’s wind source which is plenty of energy to power the country several times over. It’s something that will never run out.
How Does Wind Energy Work?
In detail, the wind blows two or three propeller-type blades in a circular motion and creates kinetic energy. These blades are connected to a rotor which is connected to the main shaft. This spins a generator and converts this energy into electricity so that it can then be used whenever it is needed.
The design of the wind turbine is important to maximise the amount of electricity generated. Wind direction determines the design of the actual wind turbine. For example, upwind turbines face into the wind and downwind turbines face away. The blades are very important, they need to be fitted in the right way so that they can rotate and spin to create that energy. There’s also a gearbox that is needed to connect the low-speed shaft to the high-speed shaft and increase the speed to about 1,000-1,800rpm. There’s an extensive list of elements to a wind turbine including:
- Generator – this produces 60-cycle AC electricity.
- Anemometer – this measures the wind speed and transmits the data to the controller.
- Yaw Drive – this keeps the rotor facing into the wind as the wind direction changes, maximising how much energy is produced.
- Nacelle – this sits on top of the tower and contains a gearbox, both speed shafts, generator, controller and a brake.
A typical wind turbine will start to generate electricity once the speed reaches the cut-in speed, known as 6 – 9 mph. The wind turbines will stop working if it is too windy, which is usually around 55mph; as too much wind can cause damage to the turbine.
What Different Types Of Wind Energy Are There?
There are a couple of types of wind energy that can be installed including offshore, onshore, and HAWT turbines…
These, as the name suggests, are offshore, so are built out at sea. Due to the tidal breeze, they efficiently generate electricity and at a consistent pace. With the latest technical innovations, offshore turbines reach a higher speed and are typically installed in two ways, one being that it is fixed on to a foundation permanently attached to the seabed or attached to a floating base anchored to the seabed.
These are built on land and unfortunately are harder to get planning permission approval for. They are typically located in areas where there is low conservation or habitation value. These typically produce electrical energy by the wind in terrestrial locations.
A fun fact is that there is 7,993 onshore turbines and 2,016 offshore turbines currently in the UK.
Horizontal Access Wind Turbines (HAWT)…
These are the most commonly used turbines used in the UK. They usually have two or three blades with a tower at a maximum of 120m tall. It is typical that these blades would be 60m long and will produce 20MW of energy. There’s a couple of types that would be classed as HAWT turbines including shrouded, up-wind and down-wind turbines.
Shrouded turbines have blades in a ring shape which increases the airflow, and are most commonly known as Diffuser-Augmented Wind Turbines. As briefly mentioned before, upwind turbines face the wind and downwind turbines face away from the wind.
Wind Energy Advantages…
There are various advantages of wind energy and it can be especially beneficial for businesses. One of the first advantages is that they are sustainable. This renewable source will never run out and as long as we have wind, we will be able to generate electricity. It’s something that will continually exist as a green energy resource.
They are much safer than fossil fuels too, which means that they are a lot more environmentally friendly. Wind power is made by wind and therefore isn’t the fear that there would ever be any oil spills or CO2 emissions. Their energy payback of the turbines is only between 6 and 9 months and after that, they can provide green, clean energy for up to 25 years.
There’s plenty of room for these wind turbines to grow as well, with the latest technology keeping them innovative and new. The potential of this resource is enormous, providing 20 times more energy what we need. And you may be thinking that because of this, the turbines are going to be so expensive. But prices are set to fall 25% by 2025 so now is the best time to purchase one and have your own business turbine installed.
The benefits of wind power really are endless. They can be installed without affecting people, livestock or production along with providing people with jobs. You can even start your own wind farm for your business and start generating electricity for your company.
Opinions on wind energy can fluctuate from person to person but the majority of opinions now are in favour of saving the planet by using renewable resources. Like anything though, there are bad things about wind energy but with so many uses and the need for renewable energy, times are changing.
As briefly mentioned before, wind power and EVs work perfectly together. So if wind power isn’t feasible at this current time, then why not opt for an EV? Electric cars are an alternative to wind power and can be useful for businesses to benefit from. There’s currently funding available for them, as well as offers on chargepoints. As an OLEV approved chargepoint installer, we can help you to take advantage of the latest funding and find the most suitable EV chargepoint for your home, business or development. Simply get in touch today…