The security challenge for wind-powered energy

Wind is the 'fuel' that wind turbines use to generate electricity. We do not have to import wind, so international market forces or geopolitical disturbances cannot affect our supply.

The challenge

Wind is a free and theoretically inexhaustible fuel, although the infrastructure to turn its raw power into useable electricity can be expensive.

 

The wind does not blow constantly – it is possible for the supply of wind to UK wind turbines to be interrupted. This is due to its inherent intermittency as an energy source.

The solution

Wind turbines could help to limit UK demand for fuel that needs to be imported, which helps improve our energy security. Fulfilling more of UK electricity needs from wind turbines could limit how many must be met by other energy sources, some of which depend on fuels that we must import.

Limiting the amount of fuel the UK needs to import could lessen the potential effects of fluctuating international prices and geopolitical disturbances on our electricity supply.

However, the intermittency of wind means that backup power is needed for when the wind is not blowing to ensure security of supply. Addressing the inherent intermittency of wind as an energy source is another step on the way to a secure UK electricity supply.