quote
menu

Renewable energy sources: what is wind energy?


Wind has been used for thousands of years – from pumping water to grinding grain. More recently it’s been used to generate electricity: we take a look at how using wind energy as a source of renewable energy has changed over time.

Our visual timeline shows that wind energy was used over 5,000 years ago by the Egyptians to sail ships down the Nile and in Persia between 500 and 900AD to grind grain and pump water.

Since then engineers have been working to capture the force of the wind and use it to generate electricity. This was achieved first by Charles Brush who used a windmill in America in 1888 to generate electricity in Cleveland, Ohio.

Wind power is now the UK’s largest source of renewable energy made up of both onshore and offshore wind farms.

How do wind turbines generate electricity?

The wind turns the blades, which spin a shaft. The shaft is connected to a generator, which generates electricity. Sensors in the turbine can tell how strongly the wind is blowing and the direction it is blowing. The rotor then automatically turns to face the wind. During very strong winds it also puts the breaks on to prevent the turbine from being damaged.

The biggest wind turbine at the moment is the Vestas V164-8.0-MW. Vestas claim the turbine will generate 30% more electricity than the previous record holding turbine.

Offshore wind farms

The world’s largest offshore wind farm is the London Array – a joint project between E.ON, Dong Energy, Masdar and La Caisse. Phase 1, situated 12 miles off the Kent coast, was officially opened in July 2013 and consisted of 175 turbines generating 630MW – enough electricity for 480,000 homes.

But the title of the world’s largest array may not belong to the London Array for long. Permission has been granted for an offshore wind farm 80 miles off the Yorkshire coast on Dogger Bank. The Dogger Bank Creyke Beck project will be twice as big as the London Array – if it’s built.

Onshore wind farms

There are around 4,945 onshore wind turbines with a capacity of 8,161MW. The largest UK onshore wind farm was opened this year by the then Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey. The Lincolnshire wind farm project – developed by SSE is made up of 34 turbines with a capacity of 68MW.

Business electricity costs

Increasingly large manufacturers are using wind turbines and solar power to help reduce their business electricity costs. But smaller businesses can also reduce costs when they compare energy prices and switch supplier. SwitchMyBusiness.com can help small and medium sized businesses to find cheaper energy prices. For a quick quote call 0800 411 8830 or complete the quote form to the top right of this page.

Related Articles

DCP228 and Business Electricity

What is DCP228? DCP228 is a regulation to be introduced by Ofgem in April 2018 which will change the way busin...

Read More
energy news

DCP 161 – Excess Capacity Charges

If your business uses a Half Hourly (HH) meter for its energy supply, make sure you’re ready for DCP 161...

Read More
Scottish Power logo

Total Gas & Power

Total Gas & Power is a business energy supplier, wholly owned by Total SA. It has been a leading business ...

Read More
Excellent, 9.8 / 10

Lorraine - Excellent experience dealing with you!

"I have been talking to Lorraine over the last couple of weeks about switching our gas/electric supplies. Lorraine was more than keen to help and went to a lot of trouble researching the best prices on the market for us. These were all confirmed by emails which allowed me to compare with our current supplier in a clear way. Ultimately our current supplier made an offer we felt was comparable to the best Lorraine had found and we decided to stay with them (B.Gas) but I am very grateful for all of the help she gave me - for no result as it happens. A pleasure dealing with you Lorraine!"

This review was posted by Richard Weekley on the 22nd of October 2018

Honest brokers who will actually save you money!

"I dealt with a gentleman called Mark Weeks. He was extremely efficient, helpful and humerous. He saved me 6 pence per/k/hr, quite the saving when your annual bill is over £12,000. I will be using this service again for my water bill!"

This review was posted by EDWARD Wickman on the 22nd of October 2018

Cheryl Sreenan delivered excellent…

"Cheryl Sreenan delivered excellent customer service, professional and polite but very natural with it - it's great to deal with someone who knows their job and cares about their customers. Great savings too and a quick switch which is always good. Will be looking to switch other businesses when they are out of contract."

This review was posted by Jackie Reeves on the 22nd of October 2018

Excellent service from Pamwan Johnson

"Excellent service from Pamwan Johnson. Polite, professional and was able to provide a much better deal than I was able to secure direct. Would definitely use this service again."

This review was posted by Andrea Kirkham on the 22nd of October 2018

i cant fault the service recieved from…

"i cant fault the service recieved from nicole and daniel"

This review was posted by alexander dawson on the 19th of October 2018