Monday, September 06, 2004

Think Big: Plan for Massive Off-Shore Wind Farm in Scotland

Plans for a massive offshore wind farm in the Moray Firth have gained £6m of funding from the the U.K. government. The project will see two of the largest turbines in the world installed to test the feasibility of a 200-turbine wind farm.

A spokeswoman from the Scottish Green Party is quoted in the article saying:
"The two governments can muster only £6m for offshore wind - a pitiful amount compared to the billions spent on nuclear power over the years."

If the £24m pilot proves successful, a full 200-turbine wind farm will be built 12 miles offshore and would have a one gigawatt of electricity generation capacity.

This compares to the recent announcement of Scotland's largest wind farm which recently opened which produces only 50 megawatts of electricity. This is a mere 5% of the potential capacity of the offshore project. If we are serious about replacing fossil fuels we need to think big.

One of the criticisms of renewable energy is that most sources do not produce significant amounts of electricity. If we are to replace fossil fuels that means thinking in gigawatts and not megawatts (1 gigawatt = 1,000 megawatts). As I noted in this post:

it is by combining different technologies and put them to work on a large scale that we can generate significant quantities of "green" electricity.