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Section                                                     Section Page    Investigation Page

Contents                                                          i                            1

Summary         (aim and conclusion)                         ii                           2

Investigation sections:

1)  The 20% Estimate                                                  1                                  3

2)  Environmental Effects                                          10                                12

3)  A Comparison to Other Resources                   15                                17                               

Bibliography                                                   i                            24


Appendix One (materials)                                         i                                   27

Appendix Two (correspondence)                           iv                                 30

Appendix Three (derivations)                                  vii                                33




About this investigation

In this investigation I aim to analyse a source which claims that:

“The United Kingdom is fortunate in having the best wind regime in Europe- it is generally accepted that at least 20% of the country’s electricity needs could be generated by land-based turbines. Using wind energy is very environmentally friendly, producing no gases, chemicals, ash or radioactivity, and with recent changes in the law and technological developments is now a viable commercial option.”   

(Source 1)

Through analysing sections of this using various sources, I hope to find out:

·        If 20% is a reasonable estimate

·        The environmental effects of using wind energy

·        What effect the competition between wind and other commercially viable renewable energy sources could have on the potential for wind energy, now and in the future.


If new wind projects get the promised help from government support via the NFFO*, wind could become the biggest single renewable electricity provider in the United Kingdom. The potential resource for onshore wind is huge if one presumes that farmers and landowners would be happy for turbines to be placed in more remote areas.

They have no effect on the surrounding cattle or sheep, and hopefully little on the birds. The disturbance to humans could be avoided or tolerated- the resource is still big when this is taken into account.

The potential for waste incineration is large, and landfill gas will be nearly as big in the short term, but wind is preferable due to its ease of use- little bother once the turbines are installed. The potential resource out at sea is bigger than on land (see the Isovent Chart in Appendix 1) and turbines can be bigger as they disturb no one. Therefore, when the technology for offshore wind is good enough, this will probably be the biggest competitor with onshore after 2025. The potential for wind is definitely large, and the future for wind is bright.




*Non-Fossil Fuel Obligation. The government can support a technology by subsidising the cost of electricity generation to make it competitive. Little support would be needed for companies to move in and take advantage of the large UK resource.