Britain Powers Past Europe in Wind Turbine Construction

According to figures from the EWEA, Britain is leading the way in offshore wind turbine construction compared to the rest of Europe in the first half of 2011. According to the report detailing key statistics and trends in off-shore wind power production, out of 108 turbines installed, 101 were in the UK, leaving Germany, Norway and Belgium behind with totals of 6, 1 and 0 respectively. The figures of turbines actually connected to the grid also read well for the UK. 68 of 101 turbines connected to a national grid (thereby producing electricity for consumption) between January and June 2011 were in the UK.

Britain’s obvious advantage in this field is that it is one of only five Island nation states in Europe, with two of those, Cyprus and Malta, too small to sustain such a high offshore wind farm capacity. Nevertheless, these figures will doubt make satisfying reading for the current UK coalition government, who have made much of their ambition to be the ‘greenest government ever’.

There are those, however, that are still dubious about the potential for wind, and other renewable energy resources, to meet the electricity demands of UK. A cross party committee on climate change recently suggested that off-shore wind power, whilst undoubtedly extremely important to the future of UK energy, was not as cost effective as nuclear power, which is considered the most cost effective of all low carbon electricity generation technologies.

Support for nuclear technology to be the dominant method of electricity generation has become dampened recently with the Fukushima Nuclear disaster in Japan. Sceptics about he safety of the technology have once again become prominent in discussions on the future of UK electricity. Around Europe, governments have taken positive action against the use of nuclear power, with Germany deciding to abandon the technology altogether.

Offshore wind turbine technology is also improving to allow countries with limited coast to increase their offshore capacity. Currently, most offshore wind farms are have to be close to the shore due to a limit in sea depth which turbines can be built. However, the one turbine that Norway built this year was a ‘floating turbine’ allowing it to be place further from shore.

Despite the cost, Britain seems set on a course of offshore wind power for now. The government is planning to have 3600 wind turbines installed off the coast of the UK by 2020. This target, however, highlights the speed at which the UK must increase its offshore wind turbine capacity, with the current figure standing at 436. Assuming that the UK keep the rate of the production up for 2011, a further 3146 turbines would need an increase in the rate of production of 91%.

Electricity generation is clearly changing rapidly in the UK, with the make-up of technologies contributing to the national grid increasing plurality. What is also clear is that technological research and design is becoming internationalized and requiring a greater amount of cross-country interaction in implementation. Language barriers should not stand in the way of the evolution or ambition of offshore wind generation, or any other low carbon technology. At TJC Global we have an extensive network or skilled and experienced linguists specialised in environmental matters, engineering and many other areas of research and international business. Therefore, we not only provide talented translators and interpreters, but those with the experience and professional knowledge to ensure any work undertaken is tailored to the exact needs of our clients.

To find out more about translation or interpreting in the fields of renewable energy, nuclear energy, the energy industry, engineering or the environment, please visit www.tjc-oxford.com or email info@tjc-global.com.

If you require specifically Japanese language services, please visit The Japanese Connection’s section on Engineering Translation

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