HOW IT WORKS
Blowing wind causes the wind turbine blades to spin and this kinetic energy can be harnessed and turned into electricity through a generator. Wind turbines can be built on land or offshore in large bodies of water like oceans and lakes. Utility-scale turbines range in size from 100 kilowatts to as large as several megawatts. Larger wind turbines are more cost effective and are grouped together into wind farms, which provide bulk power to the electrical grid.
WHAT THE MARKET LOOKS LIKE
Wind is a clean source of renewable energy that produces no air or water pollution. And since the wind is free, operational costs are nearly zero once a turbine is erected. Mass production and technology advances are making turbines cheaper, and many governments offer tax incentives to spur wind-energy development.
The wind energy industry is booming. Globally, generation more than quadrupled between 2000 and 2006. At the end of last year, global capacity was more than 70,000 megawatts. Industry experts predict that if this pace of growth continues, by 2050 it will be the answer to one third of the world’s electricity needs. Currently the United Kingdom’s wind market is estimated to be worth £105.65 million. In the renewable electricity sector £6.9bn has been invested in onshore wind, and £7.7 bn in offshore wind.
Wind can be variable: If it’s not blowing, there’s no electricity generated. Good wind sites are often in remote areas, far from cities that have the greatest electrical need.
Wind turbines are eligible for Feed-in Tariffs and you will earn a tariff for each kWh of electricity generated by your system. You will also receive another tariff for each kWh of electricity you export. This technology is an eligible measure under the UK government’s Green Deal which is a financing mechanism that lets people pay for energy-efficiency improvements through savings on their energy bills.