New government energy security strategy: Wind

​​Our turbulent weather makes the UK one of the best places in the world to generate electricity from the wind. In the right conditions, the UK can produce as much as 24% of our required energy from wind power alone.

The UK currently has approximately 11,000 onshore and offshore wind turbines, producing 24GW in 2019. The new government energy strategy sets out plans to increase the target from 40GW to 50GW by 2030. 

To do this, the government are proposing to decrease the approval times for offshore wind farms from 4 years to 1 year to rapidly increase the number that can be built. In addition, it is opening up a consultation on developing partnerships with communities who wish to host new onshore wind farms in return for lower energy bills.

If this target is achieved, it would be more than enough energy to power every home in the UK.

To learn more about wind energy and how it's produced, check out our video:

How many wind turbines are being built? 

The number of wind turbines isn't confirmed, however if the UK is to meet the target of 50GW set out in the strategy, the number of wind turbines would need to more than double.

Where are they being built? 

A large proportion are expected to be built offshore. However, the government are opening up a consultation on developing partnerships with communities who wish to host new onshore wind farms in return for lower energy bills.

Will I see a reduction in my energy bills? 

Unfortunately not immediately and probably not for a while. Even with the energy strategy and investment from the government, it will take time to build the planned wind farms and for us to see a reduction in our dependence on oil and gas. 

However, if we are able to hit the targets set out in the new energy strategy, the UK will become much more self-sufficient and become relatively immune to global energy price changes in the future. 

Aren't wind turbines really expensive? 

Prices of renewables have been consistently decreasing, with the price of offshore wind dramatically falling by around 65% since 2015 and onshore down by 50% since 2013. So, even if you take into account the cost of installation and maintenance, a wind turbine in the UK will now pay for itself in about a year.

Can I buy a wind turbine to help reduce my energy bills? 

Whilst wind turbines have reduced in price, they still cost tens of thousands to install, so it's not a viable option for individual households. However, it does become viable if you buy a percentage of one. 

Companies such as Ripple Energy do offer consumers the option to part-own a wind farm to power your home. For an initial investment, you own a small percentage of the energy the farm produces to power your home, stabalising your energy bills.

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