Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Newsy: New U.K. Wind Farm to Cost $1.3B

Swedish energy company Vattenfall has completed 100 turbines, which could produce, at their peak, enough electricity to power the equivalent of more than 200,000 homes.

If the wind blows just right, Britain will be able to power an entire city with just the wind. It’s the world’s largest wind turbine farm -- and it became active off the coast of southeast England.

A reporter for Sky News says the alternative energy source will have an impact on the surrounding landscape -- the turbines are 377 feet --- but will lessen the impact on resident’s energy bills: “Thanet will boost the UK off shore wind capacity by more than 30 percent. It will be capable of supplying electricity to 200,000 homes. It means that wind can now provide at least four percent of the UK’s total electricity consumption. With other renewables providing around five percent.”

Once completed, the warm farm is estimated to cost the country about $1.3 billion. Critiques tell the BBC, the government should be investing in other resources instead: “What I am a bit worried about is the government and the previous governments infatuations with off shore wind power, which is very expensive and intermittent. There are other renewables starved of support and they should be going down the route.”

But UK Energy Secretary Chris Huhne tells KY3 the ability to harness energy off Britain’s shore will decrease energy costs and create financial stability in a market where energy prices are commonly blown out of proportion: “What we are determined to do is by creating more of our own energy within the United Kingdom, to make us save from these little shocks which we’ve seen in the past from the oil market, the gas market. That’s good news for consumers, it’s good news for businesses and it’s good news for green growth.”

The wind might not be so reliable. ABC reports while the alternative source could save residents money, yet it does rely primarily on one component: “It sounds obvious but no wind no power and there is no way of storing it either. It’s also heavily subsidized, which means everyone’s bills go up.”

Britain hopes to produce 15 percent of its energy from renewable sources like wind by 2020.

So what do you think? Are wind turbines the next alternative source or is Britain just throwing money in the wind?

Writer: Matthew Hibbard

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