In September 2008, the UK committed itself to cutting carbon emissions by 40 per cent by 2020. In that committal, the British government dedicated its attentions to onshore and offshore wind power in an effort to harness the renewable energy abundantly available; thus reducing our dependency on fossil fuels.
According to the British Wind Energy Association, in order to meet those targets, Britain will have to invest heavily in wind energy with the construction of 12,500 new wind turbines. In theory, clean renewable energy should make electricity prices cheaper, as the bonus of wind energy is that it comes from an infinite source, and therefore will help to stabilise price fluctuations as gas and electricity stocks move on the traded markets.
However, a study from Poyry Energy Consulting has warned that such a significant investment in wind Oil Gas ELECTRICAL Consultants will cause havoc for the national grid because of its intermittent nature. Wind turbines cannot harness energy at a consistent rate and variations of output from turbines can change by 25 per cent over a year.
Depending on how much energy is being produced by each wind turbine, electricity prices could fluctuate hugely. At peak times when lots of energy is being produced the turbine would be ultra-effective, making energy virtually free. However, prices could soar to £8,000/MWh at times of low productivity.
Wind is more predictable offshore than onshore, and therefore electricity prices are likely to be more stable with more offshore wind turbines. One of the problems though is that when demand is highest on cold nights, wind turbines are at their most ineffective; whilst conversely, when the warm weather blows stronger winds, demand for electricity is lower.
Energy companies need to have a reliable source of energy that they can depend on in order to provide the best electricity prices for their customers. Wind turbines can certainly help reduce carbon emissions but until they can deliver consistent results, oil, gas and coal will remain the mainstay of power consumption. Whilst that is still the case, home owners will be able to find the cheapest electricity prices by using price comparison sites to search for an energy quote.