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Why use wind power?
Wind turbines harness natural wind power to produce electricity
We’re all being urged to reduce carbon emissions, so harnessing wind power to create energy is an attractive option.
Wind power is plentiful and renewable, and effectively reduces greenhouse gas emissions when used instead of electricity generated from fossil fuels.
In the UK, wind energy has overtaken hydropower to become the largest renewable generation source, contributing 2.2% of the UK’s electricity supply. Onshore wind farms produce the majority of this.
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Harnessing wind power
Wind turbines produce electricity by harnessing the natural power of the wind to drive a generator.
Wind-derived electrical power comes from two main sources – industrial wind farms (onshore and offshore) and domestic small-scale wind turbines installed by home owners.
Advantages of wind power
- Electricity generated by the wind does not emit CO2 or leave any waste products. Wind is also an infinite resource that cannot be exhausted.
- A small home wind turbine – when installed properly and in the right location – can cut reliance on traditional fossil fuel resources by using the power of the wind to create electricity.
- If you install a home wind turbine you can earn money for every kW of electricity you produce, through feed-in tariffs, whether you use it at home or export it to the national grid
- Wind turbines rely on simple mechanical processes. Once the wind turbine is up and running there are few running costs.
- Large-scale wind farms can be built at sea to exploit the UK and surrounding seas’ abundant wind flow without cluttering the landscape.
If you're thinking about installing a wind turbine, it's crucial your site offers enough wind to make it worthwhile. You can get an estimate of wind speed in your area using the Energy Saving Trust's wind speed prediction tool, but if you want a more accurate reading, you should consider using an anemometer (wind gauge) to measure the wind speeds at your site.