Repowering older onshore wind farms could increase UK's capacity by 1.3GW
A new report released by the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit claims that the UK could yield a net increase of 1.3GW of energy if it repowers onshore wind farms build around 2000.
The amount of new energy created could be enough to power 800,000 homes.
According to the report, if the sites that are potentially facing being dismantled are repowered, then the UK could save more than £77mn (US$108.2mn) from using fossil fuel alternatives.
“Repowering onshore wind projects with modern, ultra-efficient turbines provides benefits to consumers by delivering electricity cheaper than any other technology,” commented Executive Director of RenewableUK, Emma Pinchbeck.
“If new and re-powered onshore projects are allowed to compete for power contracts, they can generate low-cost, subsidy-free electricity.”
“As this report shows, the onshore wind industry’s supply chain offers industrial benefits to sectors such as the UK’s steel industry producing high-quality material for turbine towers.
“But onshore wind still needs a route to market, so it’s encouraging to see Ministers examining possible ways forward for this technology, which has consistently enjoyed a high level of public support.”
In the US, repowering wind farms is creating a fast-growing industry – with older turbines receiving longer and lighter blades and new electronics, making them more efficient.
In 2017, the US saw the repowering of 15 projects, with totalled 2,136MW, according to the American Wind Association.