Manufacturing composite repair systems for clients in a range of industries, from aerospace to alternative energy, we are constantly staying on top of the latest news, information, and technology as they relate to our clients.
One of the ever-expanding sectors that are attracting a lot of buzz these days is wind energy. In many areas of the world, use of this alternative energy is growing significantly, and in Northern Ireland, 2013 saw the highest levels of wind energy ever for that region. In fact, on December 17, 2013, 506MW of electricity were generated, which happened to be 36% of all electricity needs for Northern Ireland at the time, as well as the first time wind generated over 500MW for Northern Ireland. *
This was a cause for excitement at a recent Northern Ireland Renewables Industry Group (NIRIG) conference, where the focus was not only on this past success, but on promoting future success. One of the reasons for this focus on wind energy is that Northern Ireland’s aging electricity grid, built in the 1960s, was not designed with wind in mind, making it a challenge for many to take advantage of.
This area’s infrastructure, and many similar areas around the world, need much better infrastructures to meet greater needs and to attract large investors who could support these needs. The industry and area experts are certain that many opportunities exist for great investment in wind energy, which would in turn bring great benefits. Those involved believe the best ways to do this are through educating the public on the economic advantages of renewable energy, and getting politicians involved.
Of course, Northern Ireland isn’t the only area where wind energy usage is increasing, and where proponents are singing its praises. A surprising study by Stanford University has even shown that “mammoth offshore wind farms can tame hurricanes rather than be destroyed by them.”** The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) credits wind power with everything from job creation to generating enough electricity to power over 11 million homes in a single year.***
Its use is growing and its advantages are being seen more and more; it will be interesting to see what the future holds.