I’m at the initial stages of some research into wind turbines, around the topic of claimed and actual efficiency. To that end I’m trying to get hold of accurate information on the UK’s:
- 1) Current total installed Wind capacity (that’s the nominal capacity - i.e. that claimed by the operators)
- 2) The number (and, optionally, siting) of Wind Turbines. I’m only concerned with industrial turbines, i.,e. those which contribute to the generation statistics.
- 3) The total area given over to Wind turbines. It’s true that land used for turbines can be used for other purposes, however I want to work out the overall “footprint” of the boundaries of wind farms. For various reasons this might not be calculable.
- 4) Nominal wind generation capacity over time
- 5) Historic actual electricity generation and demand (broken down by generation type, e.g. coal, gas, wind, nuclear)
The fundamental question I want to try to answer is what area of land (and/or sea) is required to generate an arbitrary level of power, reliably, 24/7. The main factors that feed into that are the space requirements of wind turbines and their actual capacity (as opposed to their nominal capacity or even their estimated capacity).
So far I have identified the following resources which appear to cover (4) and some of (5):
Balancing Mechanism Reporting System (BMRS) realtime and historical generation and demand data.
U.K. National Grid Status a site presenting the BMRS data in a more accessible form, with a download of 5-minute demand/supply snapshots running back to mid 2011.
Sustainable Energy without the hot air online version of the 2008 book by David MacKay.
(edit to add: The National Grid Wind Power Operation summary page states that in January 2013 wind capacity was 5.5Gw, however it’s not clear if that is nominal capacity or average capacity, a difference which could make a significant difference to the calculation.)
Plus a large number of blogs and other sites of questionable authority which I’m reluctant to use unless I can verify their accuracy.
Can anyone suggest sources for the missing pieces?
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