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Onshore Wind Farms



Onshore wind farms have shown an exponential growth in the past decade createing 1000's of jobs. The reason for this has can be attributed to the generous government subsidies that have been made available which has encouraged massive investment in the sector. This has driven costs down and has made the sector competitive with conventional generation technologies. 







Costs

As it can be seen from the table below the levelised cost of onshore wind is a viable alternative to other sources. It is cheaper than Coal, Nuclear, and not far off natural gas technologies. The other massive advantage that Wind has is once it is in place there is no fuel costs. This is compared to Coal and Gas which has to rely on using fossil fuels which prices fluctuate on a daily basis making it difficult predict future financial income.  The Fixed O&M costs are higher due to the complex nature of the maintenance required but this cost will come down as new turbine systems are designed. 


 


What does the future hold for Onshore Wind Farms? 


Onshore wind farms have shown growth rates anywhere between 10 to 40% in the last few years and this trend doesn’t seem like its going to change anytime soon. The EU 2020 targets have been one of the driving forces for this growth and until they are met, it will continue. In the relatively short time that large scale onshore wind farms have been in existence the costs have fallen dramatically and this will continue but perhaps its starting to level out.

As mentioned, the EU 2020 targets have been critical to encourage this growth and it is important that after these have been met that the job is not seen as “done”. New targets will need to be set along with supportive policy measures encouraging investment.  ​




Advantages of Onshore Wind Farms

  • It has a proven track record

  • Cheapest renewable energy source

  • Relatively quick to install

Disadvantages of Onshore Wind Farms

  • Not 100% green

  • Environmental impact

  • Societal impact

  • Inherently unpredictable 




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