Wind Energy – A good thing right?

We love wind here at Fischer Energy! It allows us to supply 100% renewable electricity to our customer’s safe in the knowledge that we are doing our bit for our planet.

In June, wind, along with solar, biomass, nuclear and hydro generated more energy to the national grid than gas and coal combined for the first time in history.

It’s a massive achievement for the renewable industry and this is just the beginning. Experts believe that these record-breaking days will soon become the norm, saving customers hundreds of thousands of pounds and more importantly, making our planet a healthier and better place to live.

But not everyone is convinced of the benefits and It certainly has its critics in some circles. So, what do we really know about the fastest growing energy source? Does it reduce carbon emissions? Is it cheaper than traditional sources of power? How does it actually work?

A bit of history.

Those clever Egyptians have used wind to propel boats down the Nile since 5000 BC, so it’s not exactly a new source of power. More recently, the first windmill to produce electricity was built by Professor James Blyth in 1887 and powered his home in Scotland for over 25 years.

It will never run out.

Until the Sun burns itself out (in about 7 billion years) we’re pretty much ok for wind. Especially here in the UK, where we have lots and lots of it.

It is clean.

Coal pollutes the atmosphere with its mix of sulphur and metals including arsenic that escapes into the air when burned. It can have a negative impact on people’s health by increasing air pollution. Wind provides no such problems. Completely clean and non-polluting, the more we harness the less our reliance on fossil fuels becomes.

The potential is mind blowing.

The UK generates more electricity from offshore wind than any other country. An impressive accomplishment considering our size – although one -step outside today confirms this isn’t actually that surprising. (It’s supposed to be August!)

In the time it takes you to read this sentence, a single turbine at DONG Energy’s Burbo Bank Extension has just generated enough energy to power a home for 29 hours!

Do wind turbines kill lots of wildlife?

There are often reports of wind turbines being responsible for the death of birds. The facts are, however, for every bird killed in a collision with a turbine, 5,820 are killed through collisions with buildings. Fossil fuel and nuclear power also cause many more avian deaths than wind turbines. In fact, the RSPCB actively support the growth of wind energy as a way to prevent climate change.

What about the amount of energy needed to make a wind turbine?

Critics often cite the energy needed to manufacture and install wind turbines outweighs the positives of offshore wind. Once again, the scare stories are exaggerated. The energy spent is usually re-paid between three and six months and have a much better return on energy investment than fossil fuel and nuclear power.

Whatever your thoughts are on the generation of wind energy, the fact is that in the not too distant future our energy needs will have to be-satisfied by renewables. Fossil fuels are a major contributor to climate change and the improvements in wind power efficiency over the last few years have improved remarkably.

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