Wind power perception UK vs. US By GROUP 1

by tomej_1 on November 21, 2014 - 10:45pm

Summary on wind power Perception/ GROUP 1

UK vs. US

Wind power is the energy extracted from wind using wind turbines to produce electricity. It is a clean source of energy providing a safe way of producing electricity, rather than the conventional known resources such as oil and gas.

The main advantage of wind power is the effect that they can generate electricity in an insignificant carbon emission. The carbon dioxide related to wind power is that linked to their manufacture, construction and maintenance, not from their operation. Nevertheless, wind turbines can only produce electricity when the wind is blowing at a suitable speed, what mean that they need to be replaced by other forms of electricity generation when the wind speed is not sufficient.

As the windiest country in Europe, the UK is well placed to exploit wind energy. Through renewable obligation, British electricity companies re now required by law to provide a percentage of their energy from renewable sources such as wind power; therefore they receives Renewable Obligation Certificate (ROC) for each megawatt hour of energy produced.

In UK, wind power is the largest source of renewable electricity and the second largest source of renewable energy after biomass what give an advantage for energy suppliers to develop this type of energy. However energy companies are facing NIMBYs attitudes through local communities. This means that they demonstrate supporting wind power as a source of renewable energy, although the opposition is regarding the location where wind turbines can be placed.   

According to government surveys (Scotland 2012 and Bristol 2013) as well as based on survey we collect in the north Wales about the public perception on wind power, we would conclude that 90% of the UK population is in favour of Wind power; however is the location that trouble people in their opinions.  The majority (70% in north Wales and 58% in government surveys) would prefer wind turbines offshore rather than onshore. The reason for that is because wind turbines can be harmful for flocks can be not cost effective, they are noise and they appear to be ugly eliminating the beauty of the landscape, to name a few examples. Those attitudes hold back the UK energy companies who aim to be consistent in renewable energy to reach goals on lowering carbon emission and reducing the level of carbon dioxide emission responsible for climate changes.

Based on the discussion we had with our peers from US, we found that the There are more similarities than differences between UK and US regarding wind power. As in UK, the majority of Americans are supporter of wind power as renewable energy sources. The only difference they revel is that in some states such as Indiana in the Northern America, the residents not only support the wind power but they also accept that wind farms can be built in their localities such as offshore or onshore. 

According to EIA electric power report, in 2013 twelve states were report to produce about 80% of U.S. wind energy. These states produced a combined 134 million MW wind power per semester, covering a national capacity of 167 million MW of power per year making an increase of 19% comparing to the 2012 total capacity. The proportion of wind to total electricity generated varied widely by state. Texas for instance, was the top wind power state with almost 36 million MW of electricity followed by Lowa, California, Oklahoma as well as New York.

New York wind generation.

According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, New York State’s wind resources are potentially capable to fill more than half of the state’s current electricity needs. Despite New York’s wind energy regarded in small scale, it contributes massively to meet the state’s electric demands. The American Wind Energy Association ranks New York the fifths states for installed wind generation capacity counting 1,812 MW, just about 2.6% of all the electric power available from generation facilities in New York and enough to power more than 500,000 homes. In addition, two wind power projects are under construction in New York, and one is under active review. This wind energy development is critical in meeting New York's renewable energy goals.


A good summary of UK views - what more can you add and expand upon US views? Specifically in New York State?

Looks like we need a little more from the US half of the group. What did you find on public opinion towards wind energy in the US?

About the author

My name is Julia and I am from Coventry,UK. A second year student of Oil, Energy and Gas management at Coventry University.
I choose Coventry university as it is a very well renowned university graded university excellence in 2014 in UK.