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Wind Energy Potential in the United Kingdom

Annual mean wind velocity and energy output

Mean annual wind velocities of at least 5 m/s occur in most coastal regions. These are therefore suitable for use by wind power stations. Particularly attractive conditions are found on the Shetland and Orkney Islands, the Outer Hebrides and the north coast of Scotland.

The figures indicate the range of the mean annual wind velocity at a height above ground of 10 m.


The U.K. is the windiest country in the European Union

The U.K.'s abundance of windy weather could deliver significant clean renewable power for the nation over the next decade. It would help put the country on track to meet the government's target of 15% of electricity generation from renewable sources by 2015. Industry sources expect the U.K. to have the fourth-largest wind power capacity in the EU by 2010. These goals seem optimistic, however, given that total installed capacity was about 649 MW at the end of 2003, equivalent to only 0.5% of U.K. electricity. It is likely that an improved planning permission process would be required, along with a long-term, benign regulatory framework to deliver the government's expected targets.



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