Projected growth of wind energy
Wind power is currently the second biggest source of renewable energy in the UK but in it's effort to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels the UK is making considerable increases in the level of energy produced by renewable fuels including wind! Wind energy is projected to grow hugely over the next few years. Germany is currently one of the biggest wind energy users in Europe, even though the UK has the most wind in Europe! This shows the huge potential there is for growth of wind energy.
As we write, there are currently 306 commercial wind farms in operation in the UK which can produce 5738 MW of energy per year. This is due to significantly grow in the next few years. There are currently wind farms with the capacity of 3403 MW under construction across the UK and another 5398 MW which currently have planning consent and are awaiting construction.
As you can see when all of these are in operation the total capacity will be 14 539 MW per year which almost triples the current capacity levels.
In addition to this there are wind farms with a capacity of 8953 MW which are currently awaiting planning permission, if these all receive planning consent and are constructed it will produce a total capacity of 23492 MW.
The growth of wind energy is working towards the goal of 20% of the European Union's energy coming from renewable fuel such as wind, biomass, solar and water power.
Although on shore wind farms are more successful and cheaper at producing wind energy the main growth in wind energy production is through the off shore wind farms. Off shore wind farms can be bigger and house more turbines. It is also very difficult to get planning applications accepted due to severe opposition to on shore wind farms by several groups of protesters.
The government is trying to encourage further growth of wind energy production on private properties by offering grants and various support options for those individuals who are currently considering installing wind turbines on their own property. This is a great incentive and will encourage many who previously thought they could not afford to install a turbine to now consider it and benefit from the free energy produced and the opportunity to profit from a turbine by selling the energy produced back to the National Grid.