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Renewable energy sources in the UK currently generate almost 3% of the total electricity supply, 15% of which comes from wind energy. New legislation, the Renewables Obligation, has set targets on the generation of electricity from renewables to 10% by 2010. The UK Government recently announced it's intention to increase this to 15% by 2015. Wind energy is one of the best placed technologies to help meet these targets; the UK is the windiest country in Europe with over 40% of the available resource - enough to meet the countrys' electricity needs several times over (BWEA).
How much Wind Energy is there
The accessible offshore wind resource is extimated to be many times more than the UK elecricity demand of about 300 TWh per year. This estimate only takes into account water depth and not any of the other constraints. However, certainly in the short to medium term, it is not practically possible to realise all of this resource. A more realistic figure is estimated to be 100 TWh per year. This lower figure takes into account reasonable distances from the shore, water depth, type of seabed and the existing uses of the possible areas (REEB page 2).
The estimated potential wind production would approximately cover 30% of the United Kingdom energy needs.
References and Additional Information about Wind Resources in United Kingdom:
Renewable Energy Enquires Bureau: Offshore Wilnd Energy
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