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Renewable enegy farm large scale Thanet or home scale

Published by Jason Koffler on 26 September 2010

We often get asked at Critical Power Supplies whether large scale renewable energy production or home based micro energy production systems are better. This is a question which needs to be looked at from several different view points including and not limited to;

- National energy security.
- National energy production.
- National distribution of energy.
- Climate change.
- Post carbon energy production.
- Feed in tariffs.
- Home energy use and production.
- Living off the grid or a mixture of the two.

Christophe Booker in today’s Sunday Telegraph(26th of September 2010) raises several key points about large scale production and sets out to set the story straight about who makes money from such large scale farms. It should be remembered that Renewable Energy have now passed the 5GW generation point, which is enough to power all the homes in Scotland.

If you want to read Chrisophe Bookers complete article click here

Critical Power Supplies - Renewable enegy farm large scale Thanet or home scale image 1
h3. Image of Thanet Wind Farm.

The Technology Team at Critical Power Supplies always like to present a balanced argument and for this reason we have produced the top ten points for either system. We hope enjoy reading the following facts.

Top Ten Facts – Large Scale Renewable Energy Production.

1. Allows renewable energy “Farms” production to be located in one place.
2. Allows expansion of the renewable energy farm as the technology improves and additional funding is obtained.
3. Requires significant grid connection infrastructure to be put in place and time for planning approval to be secured.
4. Typical turbine capacity is three-megawatt (MW) for Thanet and each turbine isthe height of Blackpool tower.
5. According to our government department tasked with “Climate Change” their website confirmed that Renewable Energy Production in the UK, worked 26% of the time last year in monitored large scale farms.
6. A large scale wind farm enjoys wind subsidies which are funded through higher energy bills and the subsidiies last the entire estimated working life of 20years.
7. Chris Booker points out that for Thanet the 75MW of power will receive £60million in subsidies per year on top of the £30-40million cost of electricity itself. This represents a return for the developers of 13per cent (predicted).
8. Thanet took £780million to bring on line and consists of 100 turbines which could grow to 341 turbines in all. Or £1billion over five years if 341 turbines are installed.
9. Large scale renewable energy wind turbines do not generate green jobs to the numbers being promised. Thanet developers say that 21 permanent jobs will be created.
10. Over their working life wind farms work 30% of their life, whereas a traditional carbon based power plant works 50% of its life. This is known as the load factor.

Top Ten Facts – Small/Home Scale Renewable Energy Production.

1. When installed on a residential property the end user pays 5% VAT if carried out by an MCS approved installer who also supplies the equipment.
2. On certification the home user gets paid for the energy produced whether they sell it back to the grid or use it, every year. Roughly £900 per year additional income.
3. Home scale energy use puts you the user in control and typically makes the user more conscious of energy used.
4. Unless you upgrade your infrastructure and have a surplus you could not sell any spare electricity produced to your neighbours without them upgrading their infrastructure as well.
5. Efficiency and life span are key when it comes to considering home based renewable energy. Although this may increase the cost of the project for the home user over the life span of the equipment, the higher the efficiency the better as the quality and life span will also be improved.
6. Solar panels degrade over time and its important to know the specification for each model being considered specifically generation capability predicted at 5, 10, 15, 20 years.
7. Wind turbines depend on wind speed within a certain range, any additional local buildings built after installation can disrupt your capacity to generate power based on the original survey.
8. Renewable energy small or home scale production is efficient when spread over a large number of homes and allows the national grid time and energy producers time to react.
9. Schools are now being offered the chance to invest in solar energy production thanks to the creation of the feed in tariffs click here to access Department of Energy website.
10. Renewable energy production at each and every home is a key part of the UK’s plan to meet its 2050 plan of cutting carbon emissions by 80% or equal to 1990 levels.

Finally, The 2050 Pathways Calculator is a great tool which helps us all look at the changing landscape of power generation by Professor David Mackay FRS, DECC Chief Scientific Advisor. The Technology Team at Critical Power Supplies believes the more renewable energy we produce the better is all and every business and home has a part to play in renewable energy production.

Click here to access the calculator.

If you would like more information then please do not hesitate to contact us.