WilloWind Energy is a developer and operator of wind farms in the UK

WILLOWIND ENERGY

FAQs

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Do wind farms disturb livestock?

Do wind farms harm the wildlife or habitat?

Are wind turbines noisy?

Why don't we locate all wind farms offshore?

How can I help support wind energy?

What materials are wind turbines made from?

At what speed does the wind have to blow for the wind turbines to work?

How much space is needed to house wind turbines on a typical site?

How fast do the blades on a wind turbine turn? 

How much of the time do wind turbines generate electricity?

How much energy does a wind turbine produce? 

How popular is wind energy? 

 

Do wind farms disturb livestock?

Farming can continue on wind farms. Crops can continue to be grown and grazing livestock. Farm animals are not disturbed by wind farms.

Do wind farms harm the wildlife or habitats?

Wind farm projects are typically required to complete an Environmental Impact Assessment study before a planning permission decision can be undertaken. This takes into account the effects of the proposed wind farm development and any potential adverse impacts on the environment, wildlife and habitats. The wind farm developer works with a number of key organisations, such as the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) and Scottish National Heritage, to achieve this. In 2004 the RSPB stated that they believe that the UK has not witnessed “any major adverse effects on birds associated with wind farms”.

Are wind turbines noisy?

The technology for wind turbines has evolved which has also led to reduced levels of noise detection from operational wind farms. National planning policies have strict noise pollution restrictions which protect local residents from any excessive noise pollution.  Even when wind speeds increase and the turbines operate closer to their capacity, the noise of the wind itself tends to disguises the noise generated from the wind turbines.

Why don't we locate all wind farms offshore?

To meet the Government’s renewable energy targets the UK must generate 15% of its energy from renewable sources and also continue the UK’s commitment to carbon reduction. In 2010 only 3.3% of the UK’s energy consumption was sourced from renewable energy. It is therefore important that a variety of renewable energy technology is used to ensure this target is met.  Wind farms will need to be built both onshore and offshore. Currently, onshore wind farms are more economical to build. Naturally offshore wind farms come with more obstacles as they are built in the sea and also have higher maintenance costs.

How can I help support wind energy?

The debate on wind energy is very much alive and many people are keen and interested in the benefits that it brings. However, some people are nervous of the change that renewable energy brings. Drawing their attention to the facts will enable a greater understanding of the positive impacts that clean technologies like wind can bring. There are also opportunities to show your support for projects and find like-minded individuals through groups such as Yes2Wind (www.yes2wind.com).

What materials are wind turbines made from?

The tower shaft of the turbine is usually made from steel but the blades are usually fibreglass. The components are normally painted an off-white-grey to appear unobtrusive and are normally a matt colour to minimise reflected light.

At what speed does the wind have to blow for the wind turbines to work?

Wind turbines can operate between a minimum wind speed of 4 to 5 metres per second (circa 10 miles per hour) and a maximum wind speed of 15 meters per second (circa 33 miles per hour). In very high winds, the turbines automatically shut down to protect them from harm.

How much space is needed to house wind turbines on a typical site?

Typically 1% of a wind farm is used for the turbines, access paths and electrical infrastructure. The remainder of the land can be used for its natural activities such as growing crops and farming.

How fast do the blades on a wind turbine turn?

Typically, assuming a steady speed, the blades on a wind turbine can rotate at 15-20 revolutions per minute.

How much of the time do wind turbines generate electricity?

Wind turbines generally generate electricity 70-85% of the time. On average a standard wind turbine is deemed to generate approximately 30% of its maximum theoretical capacity which is called the load factor.

How much energy does a wind turbine produce?

Assuming a 1.8MW turbine, over 1,000 homes electricity needs can be met every year.

How popular is wind energy?

Wind energy is one of the most popular renewable energy technologies in the UK. In 2010 onshore wind was the single most installed renewable energy technology which contributed 7TWh per annum out of 54TWh per annum generated in aggregate from renewable energy. Opinion surveys regularly show that just over eight out of ten people are in favour of wind energy, and less than one in ten (around five per cent) are against it. The rest are undecided.