UK Wind Farms Miss Production Targets

by | Dec 12, 2006

Wind farms in England and Wales are not producing as much electricity as the government had forecast, according to a Telegraph article, because England and Wales are not windy enough to allow large turbines to work at the rates claimed.

A study by the Renewable Energy Foundation shows that Wind farms south of the Scottish border are not generating as much as the government assumed when it set the target of producing a tenth of Britain’s energy from renewables by 2010 and 15 percent by 2015. The foundation says that too much subsidy has encouraged wind development in poor sites.

The study shows that even wind farms in Cornwall on west-facing coasts, which might be expected to be the most efficient, operated at only 24.1 percent of capacity on average. The only regions with turbines operating at or above 30 percent of capacity were in southern Scotland, which averaged 31.5 per cent, Caithness, Orkney and Shetland at 32.9 percent and offshore, which came in at 32.6 per cent.

The report concludes that the most effective place for turbines is at sea near major cities where they won’t lose much of the electricity generated in transmission.

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