The UK is becoming a world leader in the use of wind as a power source. This clean, efficient, and renewable resource for electric power has become a huge part of the electricity produced in the entire UK. In fact, in early 2007, the capacity of power from wind farms in the UK went over the amount of electricity that can be produced by two traditional coal fired power stations. The UK is now the seventh country in the world to reach the 2 GW milestones.
In fact, it is now a requirement for British electricity companies to provide a portion of their energy from wind or other renewable resources. If they fail to meet the mark, they are forced to pay a penalty to the government. These are known as renewable obligation certificates.
Onshore wind farms are wind farms that are located on land. Usually in an open area, there are a number of turbines put in rows so that they can collect as much wind as possible. They are then connected to each other and the power plant so that the collective energy can be used.
However, there is one drawback in as much that in the UK, the wind is not always strong enough to support enough electricity. That has lead to some criticism of the entire wind program. However, the answer has been to supplement the onshore wind farms.
Onshore Wind Farms -- Offshore Wind Farms
By supplementing the onshore wind farms with offshore wind farms, the UK has been able to produce significantly more electricity with their wind sources.
An offshore wind farm works in much the same way as an onshore one does, but a lot better. For one thing, the wind on the ocean is faster and steadier than most anywhere else. This is because the surface is uninterrupted. There are no houses, mountains, hills or trees. Because of that, the wind can move for long stretches and pick up speed. That speed equals more energy and a steadier source. It can produce much more energy than can a wind farm on the land.
By combining offshore and onshore wind farms, the UK has been able to become a global leader in the use of the wind as a power source.
It may seem as though offshore could be used exclusively to power the UK, but the truth is that both are necessary. Since there is limited offshore areas that are suitable for use with wind farms, it is necessary to place some on the land. Finally, as you can see, there is a lot to wind farm systems. The combination of on and offshore wind platforms are what make the system work the way it does.