Land for Wind Farms

We have been approached by wind energy developers asking if we could point interested land owners in their direction.

The developers usually pay land owners an annual rent for allowing wind turbines to be placed on the land.

How Wind Farms work

The Sun heats our atmosphere unevenly, so some patches become warmer than others.

The warm air rises and colder air blows in to replace it - thus creating "wind". Wind blows the propellers round, which turn a generator to produce electricity.

To extract as much energy as possible the propellers are placed on tall towers (the wind is stronger away from the ground), the propellers are as large as possible and lots of these towers are placed together to create "wind farms".

The high height of the propellers means that the land beneath can still be used for farming

The best places for wind farms are in coastal areas, at the tops of rounded hills, open plains and gaps in mountains - places where the wind is strong and reliable.

To be worthwhile, you need an average wind speed of around 25 km/h. Most wind farms in the UK are in Cornwall or Wales.

Advantages of Wind Farms

  • It's clean. Wind power does not produce dangerous waste, nor does it contribute to global warming.
  • It's abundant and reliable. The UK is the windiest country in Europe and the resource is much greater during the colder months of the year, when energy demand is at its highest
  • It's affordable. The first offshore wind turbines in the UK are producing power more cheaply than our newest nuclear power station. The UK Government's figures show that all wind power will be cheaper than nuclear power by 2020.
  • It works. Denmark already gets 20% of its electricity from wind power.
  • It creates jobs. The wind industry could bring thousands of new jobs to the UK, many of them using offshore engineering skills used by the declining oil and gas industry.
  • It's safe. Unlike nuclear power stations, wind turbines are unlikely terrorist targets.
  • It's popular. Wind energy is one of the most popular energy technologies.
  • pinion surveys regularly show that just over eight out of ten people are in favour of wind energy, and less than one in ten (around 5%) are against it.
  • The land beneath can usually still be used for farming.
  • A good method of supplying energy to remote areas.

Disadvantages of Wind Farms

  • The wind is not always predictable - some days have no wind.
  • Suitable areas for wind farms are often near the coast, where land is expensive.
  • Can kill birds
  • Can affect local television reception.
  • Can be noisy. Wind generators have a reputation for making a constant, low, "swooshing" noise day. Onshore wind farms will provide about 5% of Britain's electricity by 2010, according to the British Wind Energy Association (BWEA).

In a new report, it says turbines are being installed faster than predicted.

If this is correct, onshore wind farms will take the government halfway to its target of generating 10% of electricity from renewable sources by 2010.

Good Wind Farm Site Check List

  • Good wind resource throughout the year
  • Grid strConection available nearby
  • No environmental designations applying to the land
  • Good access or potential for good access for large vehicles
  • No residential buildings within at least 500m
  • Land not affected by telecommunications and radio links
  • Land not affected by civilian or military radar or monitoring equipment
  • Land not situated or visible from sensitive tourist locations
  • Land not situated in close proximity to an airport
  • Good geological and hydrological conditions on site
  • No significant archeological sites being present on the land or located nearly
  • No protected mammals or bird species being present on site
  • No sensitive vegetative communities being present on site
  • Land situated in a preferred area for wind development identified by the local authority
  • Potential for some support for a wind farm from the local community.

Oct 06

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