Wind Power in the UK (PDF). - Sustainable Development Commission

sd.commission.org.uk

Wind Power in the UK (PDF). - Sustainable Development Commission

6 Landscape and environmentNorth Hoyle Offshore Wind FarmSupplied by npower renewables © Anthony Upton 2003relatively minor visual impacts, but naturally,building and operating offshore turbines is moreexpensive, and grid connection costs can behigher. This is balanced to some degree byimproved performance offshore, but at presentthere is still a considerable difference ingenerating costs from onshore wind. Due toGovernment support, offshore wind energy isexpected to be a major contributor to the 2010targets for renewable electricity generation, andits importance is likely to grow further to 2020and beyond.Better design and mitigationSome landscapes are better able toaccommodate wind developments than others,on account of their scale, landform and relief,and ability to limit visibility. Good design ofwind farm layouts and their relationship to theform of the landscape can help improve theirvisual acceptability.Novar Wind Farm, HighlandsOffshore wind developments tend to havehigher turbines and more of them, but theirlandscape and visual impact is generally lessgiven their distance from the coastline.Nevertheless, the coastal landscape is oftenunique and offers some of the most highlyvalued landscape in the UK, so developmentscan be sensitive.© npower renewablesIn the UK, offshore wind projects are currentlybeing built at distances of between 2-10kmsfrom the shore, in relatively shallow water, butnew applications will be submitted for sitesmuch further out to sea, including some beyondthe UK's territorial waters, in the newlyestablished Renewable Energy Zone. At suchdistances these wind farms are likely to haveSiting is generally conditioned by technical,practical and economic reasons such as windcapture, turbulence, access, grid connection,planning and land ownership. These factors willtherefore limit the extent to which layout andsiting can be adjusted in line with aestheticconsiderations.56 Wind Power in the UK sustainable development commission

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